As individuals we all have a different capacity to handle life events and stress. This capacity and our own innate level of resilience is tested when challenged by change either on a personal front or in the workplace. Our life’s journey will have many unknowns and the only guarantee in that journey is that there will be change.
Dealing with change will often throw up a number of variables. Some people are more at risk than others of becoming dysfunctional during the change process. From studies undertaken those who may struggle with change can be identified as follows:
- individuals who get meaning from a single purpose, like work. This is usually us blokes as we are primarily defined by our role and function e.g. our job. The social/spiritual dimension of most blokes often goes unexplored, and as blokes we just don’t talk about issues close to our heart;
- individuals whose role is threatened;
- individuals who are passionate about their role;
- individuals whose security is threatened.
Research tells us that half the population will take change in their stride having little or no effect on their wellbeing. The other half of the population will be affected, and the percentage affected can be broken down into the following categories:
- 20% showing stress signs for up to six weeks (is this normal?)
- 20% showing stress signs for up to 12 months;
- 10% showing profound affects (chronic trauma – distress unresolved).
If we fit into one of the 20% or 10% categories, we need to seek support and have a chat to someone about our distress. It may be through our EAP (Employment Assistance Program), doctor or private counsellor and/or involve talking to a mate (close friend or a family member).
Vocational wellbeing is extremely important because we spend a majority of our time at work. Some points we may want to consider before making decisions on the work we do, or making a change are:
- be happy and enjoy what we are doing;
- be passionate about what we are doing;
- keep the work life balance right;
- keep growing our experience, it’s never complete.
Coping with change in our life is a daily event, sometimes not all the changes are good, especially around bureaucracy. To thrive we must work at it and even though it is challenging at times, the process of change often gives us new skills, increases our capacity and flexibility in life and quite often sends us off in a direction that we would never have allowed ourselves to go.
The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277