“Working under pressure…” this is a common requirement that is often listed by recruiters or employers as part of the job criteria. In return, many job candidates include this statement on their CV or job application form with evidence of their experience in being able to fulfil this criterion. However, as we know, “pressure” can be quite subjective and relative to the context in which you are required to function. Sudden changes in external environments may require an immediate need to reassess your response to that situation. Self-awareness and adaptability are key elements that will help to shift your thoughts and actions towards a positive outcome while maintaining your wellbeing.
Knowing your strengths enables you to draw on the skills and qualities to help you to function in times of pressure without experiencing the negative elements of overwhelm and burnout. For example, decision making, creative problem solving, leadership, empathy, compassion, resilience, response to change, adaptability, flexibility, courage, teamwork will all be required in varying amounts when faced with a ‘pressurised’ situation.
In working with coachees, when discussing how they can present their ability to cope with pressure (either on their CV or during an interview) here are a few tips that they are asked to consider:
- Situation – how did this emerge?
- Who are you in this situation?
- What is your role?
- Is this a long-standing issue that you have now inherited?
- Is it a new situation that has recently emerged?
- Is this similar to something that you have experienced before?
- Is your input needed at the beginning, middle or end of the situation?
2. Context – your environment
- What is your perception of the situation?
- Are there significant changes going on around you?
- Is there calm or turmoil?
- Do you have access to the resources you need?
- Do you have access to the support you need?
3. Result – anticipated outcome
- What’s the most important thing to focus on right now?
- What do you want your impact to be?
- What do you want to learn from this experience?
Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty person?
In times of pressure and challenge, your perspective on the situation will go some way in helping you to know whether this is an issue that’s within your control and how you can manage your response. You will also be able to assess how you can react constructively while managing your mental well-being and productivity.
Remaining positive throughout will help to keep you motivated while you work towards your goal. Amidst all of this, think about the purpose of taking on this particular challenge. Is this something that is really important to you and that will help toward building your long-term goals? Don’t forget the importance of a hobby or exercise which has a positive effect on balancing your mood and helps to manage your emotions in trying times and avoid burnout.
Until next blog,