If you returned from your summer break this year feeling more burned out than sunburned, you’re not alone. Over the past few months, the media has
abounded with articles and features on the perils of workplace burnout, exacerbated by the pandemic1,2 (assuming we still have jobs to go to, that is – but that’s another story).
The chaos of the ‘pingdemic’, the mercurial directives regarding travel, PCR tests and vaccine passports and the long-term health, social, financial and economic impact of multiple lockdowns have all created a perfect storm of exhaustion, instability and uncertainty on a massive scale. The pandemic has highlighted various inequalities in our society, some of which have been explored within the pages of this journal by our contributors and you, our readers, and I continue to welcome your perspectives and experiences of coaching as we adjust to living with COVID-19 and embracing our ‘new normal’.
In the context of the coronavirus, when confronted with the ephemerality and fragility of life, it can be tempting to demonise work as the thing that causes stress, exhaustion and burnout – as the ‘necessary evil’ we must attend to in order to pay the bills, keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. We may be tempted to collude with our clients, coachees and supervisees in this – after all, who wants to think about work while recovering from illness or grieving the loss of a loved one?
But is there a different way of looking at this, I wonder? Is it possible to reframe work, not as something to be endured, but as the very thing that brings joy, purpose and meaning into our lives? And how can we help our clients to reframe their own attitude to work, regardless of their circumstances, without ‘glamourising’ overwork and viewing burnout as a badge of honour? Our key feature raises some interesting questions, and both I and the authors would love to hear your thoughts on this.
The development of the Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd) framework has been a hot topic of conversation lately, particularly among members of BACP Coaching, as therapeutic coaching practitioners question its impact and relevance to them and their work. I’m delighted therefore that Third Sector Lead in BACP’s Policy team, Jeremy Bacon, has taken the time to respond to the key areas of concern for BACP members who coach, and your views on this, as ever, are welcome.
"Is it possible to reframe work, not as something to be endured, but as the very thing that brings joy, purpose and meaning into our lives?"
Finally, we return to business this autumn with a new and expanded BACP Coaching Executive, and I look forward to introducing members of the team to you in this journal over the following issues.
Stay safe and well, until next time…
Diane Parker firstname.lastname@example.org