My name is

Aleksandra Błaszczyk.

 

I am an interpersonal skills trainer, crisis coach (during certification), career coach and HR consultant.

 

In 2019, I experienced job burnout. 

 

Based on that experience, I chose to help people and organizations prevent burnout and support their growth in coherence with their needs, goals and values as my professional mission. 

 

Working on my own and other people's cases, I have developed a method that combines crisis intervention and career coaching.

Working with me you can count on:

  • quick identification of the source of your problem
  • system of support focused on your regeneration
  • a method that helps determine your professional role and work style so that it is consistent with your values and potential

 

I hope that thanks to my support you will discover burnout being an opportunity for a better, truly fulfilled life!

My story

I have been looking for a dream job for as long as I can remember. From an early age I tormented adults with questions about what to do to become: a nurse, a lady from the bank, an actress, a lawyer, a writer, a restaurateur ... I was changing my professional plans every three years. Interestingly, this tendency also continued in my adult life, when I actually started working and trying what it was like to be: a translator, a customer service specialist, a team leader of the customer service department, an HR specialist, an HR business partner, and finally a coach and a trainer.

At first glance, some of these professions seem unrelated to each other and illustrate drastic turns in my career, but it had some logic. Well, after these usual 3 years of being in a given professional role, I was able to find out what I like about it and what I want to develop and focus on exclusively.

 

Honeymoon

And so with the elimination method, at the age of thirty or so I became a full-time soft skills trainer. Because I worked in a corporation, my role was so specific and clear that apart from collecting signatures on the lists of participants and settling business trips costs, I did not have to look after any papyrology or bureaucracy. I was to train only. Finally, I was able to say: "here it is! My dream job! Now I will train until I die, or at least retire!" And in fact I loved this job 100%. I eliminated everything that bored me, tired and frustrated me. I kept only those tasks that I liked most. How did all this burn me out? Hasn’t one said: "Do what you love and you will never work again”? ...

 

Disappointment

In one of the tests examining motivation, it turned out that the values ​​important to me are idealism, honor and ... food. At the time, I laughed at this statement, but in retrospect I see that those values ​​have contributed to my professional crisis. Because having my dream job already, it was hard for me to accept that maybe the role of the trainer is not so perfect for me. That it has its dark and bright sides, as well as shades of gray.

I would rather admit, that it was me, who was unfit for the job. And because my honor didn’t let me admit that, I tried even harder. Never mind that nearly 100 hours of training per month was beyond my introverted nature. It didn't matter that on Wednesday I was already a walking dead and on Thursday I usually took work from home to have the strength to conduct another training on Friday. It didn't matter that more and more frequent business trips ruined my rhythm in my personal life, and the sleepless nights in hotels and eating out affected my health. I experienced my disappointment in denial. And food, well... more than once it was a consolation on lonely hotel evenings.

 

Increasing stress

Once a fellow-trainer asked me if I kept being stressed while conducting trainings. My own answer: "Not anymore." Took me by surprise. I think it impressed him because he congratulated me. I silently admitted that I had actually developed and my confidence in the training room had risen to a level that once seemed out of my reach. At the same time, I felt a certain dissonance, because it did not please me at all. What's worse, thinking of the next planned training or another request from a client, I felt sick and full of hidden hatred towards those poor training participants. Moreover, I was spending most of my free time washing, ironing and packing my suitcase, and when I heard from my friends how cool it must have been for me to travel so much... well, I would rather not quote my thoughts. Of course, it would be unpolitical to share it with anyone, because in the corpo-world you need to gush with enthusiasm, and being a trainer you have to shine as an example of commitment, and additionally - clap your ears. So I clapped and inside I felt more and more empty and detached from my own life.

 

Full-blown burnout

Long ago, somewhere at the beginning of my career, my boss warned me not to try to be someone I am not at work. Otherwise I would face a nervous breakdown. I didn't think it would ever concern me because I was after a dream job. And if you do what you like, then there is no point in pretending. Alternatively, you can strive to be the best at what you do... So one sunny Friday, when I could not get out of bed, I did not associate it with his prophecy. Until then, I had been under chronic stress and for almost two years, but I repressed that anything was wrong. However, the helplessness that suddenly overwhelmed me pointed to something else. After several consultations with doctors and mental health specialists, I was sent to a sick leave for several months with a diagnosis of mood disorders. In short: according to them, I’ve suffered from depression, and I was supposed to treat  in the day ward of a psychiatric hospital.

 

I admit that it was a knockout for me. This was accompanied by a huge fear of income loss, as I was too exhausted to imagine returning to work. At the same time, raised in a work ethic and self-sufficiency, I treated a temporary break from work as a reason for shame, and the risk of losing my job as a gigantic failure. It was not conducive to my recovery, so I was using sleep as escape activity and was taking naps a in the strangest times of the day. So it was almost three months, until a certain webinar on crisis coaching, after which I changed my diagnosis.

 

Phoenix phenomenon

During a webinar led by dr Elżbieta Kluska-Łabuz, I learned what a crisis is, how it is defined, what are the types, levels and intensity of it. And those symptoms, which the doctor meticulously mentioned, sounded very familiar to me. Before the webinar was over, I was sure that the group of respectable specialists from the mental department was wrong about my diagnosis, because I had no depression. I suffered from burnout, which is a type of chronic crisis. Eureka and voila! I'm not sick but burned out! I felt as if I was plugged in again.

 

Over the next weeks, I read a lot of studies and articles about burnout, enrolled in a crisis coaching course, and ... I dismissed myself from mental department. I felt sorry for therapists who  despite observing, testing and collecting extensive documentation, didn’t recognize my condition properly. What's more, there were two other people in my support group who also got sick of working in the corporations. And like me, they were diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders. Today I know that even if we had depressive moods, they were secondary, because they were bred on burnout.

 

However, before I got back in shape, another several months passed and I realized the key things in burnout prevention:

First of all, I realized that I had limits of resilience and immunity.

  • I began to notice and accept that my energy sources are limited during the day and my tolerance to stimulation is finite.
  • I realized that the source of my burnout was not in myself, but in the requirements of my position, which definitely exceeded my limits of tolerance to stimulation.
  • I decided that the current lifestyle forced by working as a trainer did not serve me and if I want to keep passion for this profession, I have to change employer at all costs.
  • I began to respect my body as a separate entity that has its subjectivity and is much wiser than a naive and a "know-it-all” mind.
  • I started to respect my needs and emotions.
  • I started to say, "No. No, period."

In addition, I indulged in further relaxation, because I already knew that burnout is fought with what we forget every day or we don't have time for.

So I was sleeping a lot, taking long walks, practicing undemanding sports, relaxing, reading, devoting myself to passion and spent as much time as possible with loved ones.

 

This allowed me to come back to myself and my pre-burn resources. One of the results is “Fenix” project ​​and my activity focused on prevention and combating the effects of burnout. After my bumpy road to the heart of the problem, I decided that it is worth spreading people's awareness and paying attention to the problem, especially in a situation where it is not properly recognized by mental health specialists. I made it my professional mission for at least three consecutive years.

 

 

The above five paragraphs describing my case reflect the five stages of burnout: honeymoon, disappointment, increasing stress, full-blown burnout and the phoenix phenomenon. These names indicate that there is a process behind it that, despite difficult experiences, has creative potential.

 

If my story moved you, caused anxiety or raised questions about your work-related well-being, I encourage you to take a burn-out test and visit the OFFER page. In the meantime, take care of yourself, because at the end of the day you are your most valuable resource.