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Project Manager : Project Manager Oct Nov 2012
34 Project Manager CAREER CENTRE ROBYN MCNEILL REMEMBERS THE exact moment she first ‘crashed and burned ’ after more than five years of juggling the kind of ‘you can have it all ’ life so many of us strive to maintain. “It was at a business dinner I was attending with my husband. I felt totally alone and empty, very angry and frustrated, and while I knew I was being unreasonable I felt completely trapped,” says former P roject Manager Robyn. What Robyn didn’t know at the time was that she was suffering from stress burnout, now acknowledged as a prima ry cause of Workers’ Compensation claims and one that costs business around $10 billion a year in lost or poor productivity. But for Robyn, as for the many sufferers, the real cost was to her own health and her family. “ The most important impact had to be on my family. I ran away from my children, who were aged eight and 11, when I split from my spouse, and of course from everyone who cared about me.” The problem was, she recalls, that there was little information available on stress burnout at the time, something she is working hard to remedy now by coaching individuals and businesses on beating burnout in the workplace based on Neuroscience techniques. “ The first steps towards early intervention burnout management is recognition of it as a real phenomenon; the second is acknowledgement that you are suffering some or all of the symptoms,” she ex plains. “ I didn’t do either. How could I? There was almost no information around about it. As a result, not having even recognised that I was in burnout, let alone realising that I was in trouble, over the coming years I fluctuated between the moderate burnout levels of feeling overloaded, emotional and then angry.” Despite a new relationship, launching her own project management consultancy and the excitement of moving to Australia, feelings of emptiness, anger and being overwhelmed persisted until Robyn eventually admitted to herself that her ‘super persona’ was no longer working. Luckily, she found the help she needed to get on the road to what she calls being a ‘burnout surv ivor’. “I found the right support in three people,” she recalls. “ They were a doctor who recognised the impact of stress and burnout; a naturopath who understood what was needed to rebuild the body’s immune system and stress regulators; and a counsellor who identified how my own behaviours were underpinning my repeated episodes of Stage 5 burnout.” As Robyn came to grips with her own situation, she realised there were many silent sufferers coping with what has become an occupational hazard of working in highly pressurised, modern workplaces that are difficult to switch Beating burnout An ex-project manager and ‘burnout survivor’ is helping professionals manage stress in the pressurised project environment. SHE ADMITTED ... THAT HER SUPER PERSONA WAS NO LONGER WORKING ROBYN MCNEILL CERTIFIED NEUROLEADERSHIP COACH, SPECIALISING IN STRESS BURNOUT (
Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
Project Manager Dec Jan 2013