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Navigating the changing workforce

By Tasha Broomhall

Written for the West Australian, by Marnie McKimmie

With the downturn in the economy leading to both job losses and increased workloads, workplace wellness expert Tasha Broomhall warns it is time for all to take steps to protect mental health.

She suggests taking back some control in a time of much uncertainty by preparing a just-in-case-of-redundancy backup support plan, even if your job looks secure for now.

Also she recommends learning coping mechanisms such as mindfulness to deal with the current high level of stress from unsettling change, warning workers watching colleagues lose jobs can find their concentration levels falling off to the point it puts their own position at risk.

“Some workplaces have been undergoing organisational restructuring and redundancies for a few years now, so there are people who have known it is coming to their department and for all that time have been stressed and worried,” she said.

“You have a choice of taking a proactive stance — taking control of what you can — or just waiting to see what happens.”

Pre-planning enabled you to “hit the ground running” if your job was lost, said Ms Broomhall, rather than having to do such tasks as rewrite your CV and investigate financial assistance amid all the “emotional fallout”.

“Then you are no longer starting from scratch, which is when it can become overwhelming,” she said

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