Recently, a few professionals and managers contacted me through my blog (ashutoshm.com). They are experiencing severe stress in life as the company has put them into a new role or function. They don’t seem to have any experience in dealing with the demands of the new job.
One person shared that she is feeling lost while changing from operations to a front office sales role. While the going was good in operations role she was a high performer. The new sales role in a retail branch demands understanding of a variety of products like mutual funds, insurance, consumer loans and so on.
Another person mentioned that the transition from business strategy role to managing vendor development for an auto giant has been very stressful. The previous role required being stationed in the head office, sitting in air-conditioned office and helping the Directors and General Managers make plans at thirty thousand feet. But the new role demands that he sweat it out at vendor site in interiors of the country, brave the heat wave and deal with unrefined folks day in and day out.
These adverse or new working conditions and new skills demanded by the job tend to throw you off-guard. There are chances that the performance takes a beating and you can slip into a negative spiral. Not only the performance rating gets affected, it becomes difficult to push yourself to show up on job fearing failure and disappointment. My advice to manage stress:
Be grateful for the opportunity.
You have been thrown into completely uncharted territory. As you would have heard, best way to learn swimming is to jump in the water. Someone has done that for you. Think what would have happened if you sat on the same desk in operations for 30 years and became like the current head of operations with no hopes of any more progress and no shot at becoming the CEO of the Bank. The more functions you handle, the better is your experience. This is the organisation’s way of grooming you for senior management roles. When you look at the challenge as an opportunity, you will automatically become stress free.
Just jumping into water will not make you learn swimming. You need to start learning the skills. Take your time. Look for colleagues and seniors around you. Ask for their help to learn the new skills. If they help, that’s great but If they don’t, you will need to help yourself. Finding it hard to excel in sales? Use books on selling skills, watch sales training videos on YouTube and study the products that you sell in depth. Watch videos of Zig Ziglar, read motivational books by Jim Rohn (7 strategies for wealth and happiness). In the vendor development role, learn to deal with people of different strata and break the ice. Reading books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie can help. Work on your public speaking skills. See my previous blog – Get out of your comfort Zone!
Don’t judge yourself too soon.
In today’s world of quarterly performance, we tend to judge everything too soon. Three or even six months is too short a time to judge yourself. Take one thing at a time, one step at a time and learn one skill at a time. Give yourself a couple of years before arriving at any judgement. I can understand that in most organisations, two years is a long time frame. Talk it out with your manager and ask for his or her help. Very often, we tend to pretend what we are not. Instead, just admit your technical deficiencies and ask for time to work on them. You will be surprised at how much support you get in most cases and ultimately reduce unnecessary stress on yourself.
Get your personal life in order.
My book “Happiness is All We Want!” is an attempt to help youngsters like yourself. It gives you a framework to keep your happiness, health and well-being firmly in your own hands right from the start. In addition, the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie is a great read anytime you find yourself sinking in a vicious cycle.
Get your personal finances in order.
It may be ironic that bankers are supposed to be helping others with their financial well-being but I have been zillions of bankers screw up their own financial health and in turn spoil their happiness. Read the books Richest Man in Babylon and Rich Dad Poor Dad. The book by Jim Rohn that I mentioned above will also help with this.
If you are taking good care of your personal life as outlined in last two points, working on everything else is a lot easier. Good Luck!
A seeker and explorer in the quest for lasting happiness, health and well-being. An MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi. Has been a senior banker with large global banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and ANZ Bank. Working in these demanding global institutions with a gruelling schedule and plenty of business travel. Was fortunate to realise the importance of health and wellbeing early on. Learnt and practiced many wellbeing tools and techniques to focus on his own well-being while balancing the demands of a high-profile career and a lovely family.