When You Work In Chaos, Do These 2 Things

Time to read: 1 min. 20 seconds.
When work gives you lemons...

When work gives you lemons...

I was talking with a client recently. Let's call her Polly. (Name changed to protect the innocent.) Polly works for a huge company that for generations has been a bastion of stability and happy employees.

Until recently.

For the past two years, Polly and her team have undergone multiple rounds of layoffs, worked to bridge differing cultures with colleagues from an acquisition, and navigated what sometimes seems like daily emails announcing more departures in upper leadership. They don't know who handles decisions, where to go for funding, or even if their projects will continue to be a priority in six months. They are getting used to their "new normal" and still, it's frustrating and discouraging to do good work in daily uncertainty and chaos.

Does this sound familiar to you? (Keep reading. I'll tell you what to do about it.)

Polly asked me, "will we ever have stability again?" (She knows I spent 5 years in this very environment. We had 3 CEOs in five years. Talk about chaos and ever-changing priorities.)

The answer to Polly's questions is yes... and...

It could be years before the company starts to chug along like a well-oiled machine. It takes a long time to redirect a big ship after a series of tsunamis. The company I worked for started to stabilize after 6-7 years.

In our conversation, Polly and I uncovered 2 excellent strategies for working in, and even thriving in, an ever-changing work environment. With her permission, here they are:

  1. Every morning, say to yourself, "I choose to be here." The fact is, you decide if you can tolerate the chaos or not. If you keep showing up at the office, you are signing up for whatever the company is dishing up that day. Knowing that you choose to stay is liberating. And, if you choose to go (which was my choice), that is liberating, too.
  2. Make lemonade. Seriously. Times of change and chaos need leaders - at all levels. Your company needs YOU. In the midst of the confusion are opportunities for you to step up and lead. Polly walked away from our session chanting this mantra:

    "Be the thing you are wishing for."

If no one is making decisions, you make decisions. If no one knows the priorities, you set your priorities. You may get it wrong. (So what? Sitting around worrying about the future is not advancing your career or making you happy so what have you got to lose?) More likely, you will shine as a leader and initiator and people will notice.

You've got this.

I hope this helps.


P.S. If you are working in chaos and want to chat about it, reach out to me anytime: christina@boydsmithcoaching.com

P.P.S. If you just had drinks with friends who complained all night about the chaos at their workplace, forward this email to them. They can sign up to join us here.


The way you spend your day….

Estimated read time: 1 minute

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I want to check in with you about how things are going in your job.

I know you struggle with burn-out, overwhelm, and what to do next. You keep thinking things will change if you just work harder, take on more responsibility or give the changes in your company more time. Being stuck is a total drag.

These struggles have me thinking about a funeral I attended for a colleague from my corporate days. He worked hard, sometimes staying at the office on Christmas Eve, traveling internationally, sacrificing for the company and putting many things off “until retirement.” The church was simultaneously crying and laughing hysterically at the stories his children told of the things their dad was finally doing in his retirement. He was just beginning to enjoy all the things he had worked for when he died 2 years in.

When I hear you say, “I’ll wait until next year. Maybe things will get better on their own,” or “I can put up with anything until my kids are out of college,” it breaks my heart. Time is short. Your life is valuable. The time to bring back joy, balance, health, and meaning is NOW. Retirement is too far away. Even next year is too far away.

This quote makes me think of you everyday:

How you spend your days is how you spend your life. ~Annie Dilliard

You are the one with the power to make things better for yourself. Waiting for your company to make things better for you is only going to make you another year older.

If you are:

  • waiting to see if things will get better on their own;
  • procrastinating on making a change because you’re scared of the financial consequences;
  • skeptical that things can ever be better in your job;
  • wishing you had the roadmap to professional fulfillment,

Let’s hop on the phone. Email me at christina@boydsmithcoaching.com to schedule a session with me.

I promise you they can be better. Don’t wait another year to create your life and work on your terms. The time to be happy at work is now.

We’ll spend 30 minutes creating an inspiring and empowering plan for things to be better NOW.

Whether we end up working together or not, I can't wait to connect.

Happy Halloween!


P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.

Is anxiety running you? There is a way out.

Estimated read time: just under one minute

You can be free! And keep your job. At the same time.

You can be free! And keep your job. At the same time.

I hear from many people that their anxiety about work runs high. The economy is bad. They've lost their mojo. They feel stuck, pigeon-holed. They don't know the way out of the rut. Does this sound familiar?

My client, Todd, was run by anxiety. He was short-tempered in meetings, and his team's performance was suffering. He believed that only a buttoned up, carefully controlled version of himself was welcome at the office. That belief was stifling his creativity and happiness, and the stress of stuffing important parts of himself was coming out sideways. The anxiety was killing him and his team.

Working everyday from anxiety is never going to get you what you want. Certainly, it affects things like your sleep and fun, but it also affects your performance and engagement and therefore your opportunities, promotions and at the end of the day, your money. Todd turned his anxiety around, and you can, too.

In coaching, Todd created practices to manage his anxiety and took risks to bring the creative, funky parts of himself to work. He got familiar with his own unique processes and strengths. As a result, Todd's anxiety was gone. He became physically active again. His team got happy and productive. He became a vital, positive contributor in meetings, and his director couldn't believe the fast turnaround.

You can learn to manage your anxiety to take charge of your life and choices again. You can find meaning and bring joy and creativity back to your day.

If you feel ready to lose the anxiety and claim your success, let's hop on the phone. In 30 minutes, we'll create an anxiety-busting, creativity building strategy that will send you back to the office transformed. Email me at christina@boydsmithcoaching.com to schedule a time with me.

I can't wait to connect.


P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.

Worried that you're in the wrong job? Maybe. Maybe not.

Estimated read time: A teeny bit over one minute.

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I want to share a story about a client who struggled with a mirco-managing boss, how to balance being a mom, and wasted energy every day asking if she should stay or go. She was exhausted and just wanted some damn clarity. Sound familiar?

Katie came to me unhappy. Her manager was unresponsive and then, he micromanaged her. She loved her team and the technical challenges of her role. But, she no longer cared about the company's products and craved meaning in her work. The money was good, but the hours sucked. As a single mom, she needed more time at home and to top it off, she dreamed of ditching the corporate gig to become an artist.

She was torn. Should she stay or should she go now? (Insert 80s soundtrack.) Should she choose the money or the time? Should she find a new job with better hours, create her own art business, or stay with the stable, "responsible" thing?

Can you relate, to the jumble of priorities and the feeling of having no real choices?

So, what's the answer? Getting clear about your non-negotiables and making choices will enable you to have everything you want.

When you define your non-negotiables, they rise above everything else and act like a north star that guides every decision - even the question of whether you stay or go.

Here's how it works using Katie as our example:

In coaching, Katie’s non-negotiables became crystal clear: 1. daughter; 2. salary and benefits. Katie’s decisions became clear, too, which enabled her to take action. In the end, Katie changed jobs to an organization with a great manager, a meaningful purpose, an awesome team, AND she has better work/life balance. She sells her drawings for fun. She sacrificed a bit of salary to create the work and life she wants and is happy again.

Just like Katie, you can have everything you want once you are clear about your priorities. Let's get on the phone and get clear about you want. We’ll quickly identify your top non-negotiables, answer the question, “should you stay or should you go,” and strategize your next move.


P.S. If you are ready to stop wasting your energy worrying if you should stay or go, hop on the phone with me. We’ll get clear about your priorities and strategize your next move. Email me at christina@boydsmithcoaching.com. P.P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.