There was about a 4 month period this summer where I was really in a funk. My anxiety was under control but I was more depressed than ever. As a result, I could see my performance at work declining and I just could not get myself to do anything about it. Which, of course, caused a spiral effect. About 6 weeks ago, my doctor changed my regimen by adding wellbutrin and removing remeron. Roughly 4 weeks later, I woke up one morning feeling completely normal and, for the first time in months, was able to get to the gym before work. It was like a switch had been in the off position for part of my brain and it just flipped back on.
Not only have I seen a complete 180 in my performance since then, I’m also seeing my coworkers respond positively. Being able to bounce back quickly and see positive results has been tremendous for my self esteem and ability to continue to focus on improving my mental health every day. This is probably the first time, in a long time, that I haven’t felt sudden urges of annoyance or anger. Even when I’m having to repeat myself to the same person 6 times.
The reason I’m telling you all this is because what I appreciate most about this whole experience is how my leadership and company responded. When I first started writing my blog, I was surprised to receive support at work. Being someone that tends to hold things in all the time, no one knew what was going on until I started writing. And as my performance was declining from my norm, no one made comments and instead they would ask me how I was doing.
Had someone pointed out what I was already seeing in my own behavior, it would have made my negative spiral so much worse than it already was. Instead, being able to feel the support of the people I work with as I struggled to pick myself up helped me come back faster and wanting to work harder than I was before. Working for large companies often means you have to deal with long processes (like me getting approval to work from home) but what makes me confident that my company will continue to be successful as society and the workforce change, is their ability to adapt to our needs instead of forcing us to adapt to theirs.
My dad has always been in a more traditional business environment and for the past 10+ years he’s been with one of the Big Four. His company is known for expecting a lot from their employees and I’ve known a number of people my age only go there for the resume boost then leave for something better after 1-2 years. It’s been interesting to hear his perspective on my blog and how my company or future employers will view it. He often recommends that I take certain posts down, that I’m too open and it can be used against me. I appreciate his concern because it comes from a loving place but to me, it’s a great example of how some people and companies are not adjusting to the incoming workforce.
There are so many people out there dealing with issues similar to me and society in general is shifting the way they approach work-life balance. It’s important for companies to recognize this change and adjust because one that is hyper successful now can eventually experience significant loss.
Adapting to your workforce goes beyond mental health and into other areas like LGBTQ, women, religion, culture, etc. I’ve seen a lot of companies attempt this and fail because they’re willing to talk the talk but not walk the walk. The experience I’ve now had with my company coupled with their [successful] effort to get employees to bring their whole self to work has made me extremely loyal and constantly referring friends or acquaintances to apply. It’s companies like this that will continue to grow and succeed.