Why did you use the LifeWorks EAP service?
I wasn’t unhappy at work but I wanted a change and to progress my career. So, I moved to new role in a new division. I was excited about it and the challenges it would bring. The new position also meant a new manager. I didn’t know her very well prior to joining the team but I quickly realised that I valued my happiness at work more than the pay increase and job prospects.
From my perspective, my new manager had very little trust of the people on her team. She constantly checked my work. I had no problem with her overseeing tasks but she criticised my efforts to the wider team. I had worked for the business for nine years and felt well respected in my old team. Then, for the first time in my life, I felt bullied.
The constant criticism and personal jibes against me and my work made me think I had made a big mistake in taking on the new position. I was devastated.
I persevered with the role for a year, feeling extremely unhappy. Each day I hoped that my manager would be out of the office or on holiday. These feelings tripped into my personal life, too. I became easily upset at home and quick tempered with my family. That’s when I knew I needed to talk to someone. The emotional persecution had left me feeling isolated and alone. During a chat with a trusted colleague, she suggested I reach out to LifeWorks.
I called and spoke to a counsellor straight away. Actually, I phoned and cried for the first 30 minutes. I was at breaking point – my manager had affected my life at work and at home. I saw no option but to resign; ten years of commitment to the business for one person to leave me feeling worthless.
How did LifeWorks help you?
The counsellor listened and wanted to truly understand my situation. She made me realise that it was my manager’s limitations that were causing the problem and not me or my performance. We spoke for over an hour and the advice I received about setting boundaries and not accepting the unprofessional behaviour was brilliant.
I used it to cope better during the period. More importantly, I didn’t feel alone any more or trapped by the behaviour of my manager. The counsellor also outlined my options; I could speak to HR, discuss it directly with my manager or move to a new role within the business or elsewhere.
How would you measure the value of LifeWorks & how it helped?
Thankfully my manager moved on within the business a few months later. But I didn’t resign because I learnt how to cope with the situation and became empowered to stay. I also realised that it wasn’t personal to me and it was more about her unique style of people management. LifeWorks helped me to do this – my only regret is that I didn’t call sooner!