Savage law: overcoming post holiday blues

Encore’s agony uncle Chris Savage tackles your agency dilemmas in his weekly advice column.

Hi Chris,

I’ve been back in the office for less than a week after a relaxing holiday break and my stress levels are already higher than before I left. I’m tempted to give my notice. Should I quit or just put this down to post-holiday comedown?

Quit? QUIT??? Are you made of putty? Listen: business is tough. It is always tough. And hear this: it is going to get tougher and tougher. That’s the way of the world. Pressure is a constant and rather than quit, get really, really good at managing the pressure and managing the stress. Your next job is going to be equally stressful (unless you become a monk, right). So work on your resilience rather than your CV.

Now, I am no expert on stress management techniques. But I have managed to build a pretty resilient persona, remembering that in my role (and most senior leadership roles), almost every phone call and meeting is about an issue, problem, or bad news. As you climb the corporate ladder, the issues tend to be the same, it’s just the amount of money involved that gets bigger.

Your most powerful weapon in managing stress is your mindset and how you choose to respond to what happens to you. Learn to breathe deeply, and often. And ensure you add the right stress release moments in your week. It used to be alcohol and tobacco for me. Not good.

Now it’s exercise. That’s a better choice. But I am no expert. Buy some books. Search online. It’s all there for you.

Point is: stress and pressure is a natural part of being in business. The key is to keep working at ways to manage stress and to keep it at a healthy level for you – whatever your level might be.

Chris Savage is the chief operating officer of STW Group. His blog, Wrestling Possums with Chris Savage, can be found at chrisjohnsavage.com

This feature first appeared in the tablet edition of Encore. To download click on the links below.


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