By The Mediocre Mum

Perspective. It's an interesting word.

Right at this moment, I am trying to get some, while it feels like my ‘work world' is falling apart.

I have worked in the same organisation for 12 years. Before that, I worked in an agency, but the people I work with now were my clients. So for 14 years, I've worked with and for a group of strong women who have become some of my best friends.

Unfortunately, this place that has given me so many opportunities, and has been with me through my marriage and two kids, is rotting from the head.

A new CEO has created enormous change, some good, some not so. Not unexpected with a change in management. Over the last six months, we have lost many good people. A few weeks ago it became clear the manager of my immediate area was also on the chopping block. A friend, a confidante, a mentor and an inspiration in many ways.

My immediate boss (also a close friend) was the obvious choice to step into the hole she will leave, as everyone agreed. She has been part of the plan for more years than anyone can remember. She consistently delivers above expectation.

She did not get the role.

Deflate. My hope for her and my hope for myself disappears.

All these wonderful humans who are very good at their jobs, at building relationships and culture – gone.

The guts have been ripped out of a highly functioning, engaged and quite frankly a leading edge team in our industry.

I have a happy home – an amazing, supportive husband, two incredible, funny and kind kids, and a couple of cute but naughty puppers. So why is what's happening at work making me so miserable?

It is the definition of a first world problem.

How do I reset and try to be positive for my team? I have a number of great women reporting to me, and it's horrible to see what they're going through. All at different stages of their lives, but equally anxious.

I can give them no comfort. I don't know what's coming next. The tiny bit I do know I can't share. I don't know if they'll all have jobs in the coming weeks or months. They all have mortgages and other stresses in their lives.

I wish I had the balls to walk out, flip my finger and tell the powers-that-be what I think of the way they've handled the emotions and the livelihoods of these people I love. However, I have two mortgages (we're building a house), kids in private education and a nasty shopping habit (that's a whole other story).

I work in a specialist field; jobs are not plentiful. What other jobs there are don't pay as well, won't have the same flexibility, or have a notoriously bad culture.

Is the grass greener? Am I at that point yet? Probably not.

Coming to work each day at the moment isn't fun, and life's too short to work in a role that doesn't fulfil you.

Are there two different types of people – those who can get their work done but disengage from everything else, just to get paid and live their best life outside of work? And those who derive a sense of belonging and pride from their work, who can't help but be engaged and therefore struggle more when times get tough?

I feel guilty that it is consuming so much of my thoughts. I should be focussing on my family, my new house, the myriad of good friends in my life. Let this blow over and see where the dust settles. Logical. Almost impossible.

Any tips for this Mediocre Mum?

 The Mediocre Mum

A forty-something Mum who works almost full-time, has two primary school boys, a supportive husband and a generally happy life. She writes about the little things, the big things, the first world problems we all experience. She wants to raise her boys to be respectful, happy and grateful men. Plus make a lot of money so they can look after their Mum and she can retire early!

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Comments (2):

You are describing my last place of employment. I was there 15 years and I saw many leadership changes. The leadership in our head office did not really impact the local BRISBANE office until the last few years I was there. A psychotic woman took the reigns locally and changed the whole culture. It was a cultural demise that still makes me weep. In the end I left. And I have t looked back to be honest. I’m studying again and taking the opportunity to make a career change

Taniaw - September 21, 2018

Change brings with it it’s own degree of stress, which can be worsened when we see those around us being affected! Best thing you can do as a leader is understand and embrace the change and new vision and share this with your team. You mention “what you do know you can’t share”. I’m a firm believer in telling people as much as you can (good, bad, known and unknown). This will benefit your team by easing the uncertainty (and showing them you’re in it with them) and benefit you as well (through being honest and upfront). Instigate a weekly session (if you haven’t already) as a forum for raising concerns and answering and seeking answers to questions. I know we can sometimes feel guilty or perhaps “disloyal” when we’re still around and people we’ve valued and respected soon won’t be. Although tough, it really does come down to the new vision and direction the company is taking and getting on board. Don’t fall into the trap of “taking sides”. We can empathise with our friends but we still need to respect the decisions made...or leave. No matter what your decision, your team will be looking to you for advice and leadership. This is the time to overcommunicate even if there’s nothing to report. Make sure you acknowledge the achievements to get to this point, talk about the change, talk about the future vision, get your team to describe what their role could be and to think about what their skills are etc and what they’d do if their role wasn’t there. Talking about the uncertainty and creating this strong network will help all of you! Don’t jump ship just because you’re going through some rough waters. You’ll be surprised how much you will grow through this and get to the flip side where you’re back to enjoying all aspects of your life.

Mezza7 - September 18, 2018