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Are you caught in between two impossible choices of having to either pursue or walk away from something? 

Let me tell you about Dawn. You might see yourself in her story.

The Promotion

Dawn is a professor at a prestigious university. She has been teaching for fifteen years and finds fulfillment in her work. Teaching has always been Dawn’s passion. She loves connecting with her students.

Recently, she was promoted to an administrative position in the university. In addition to teaching, she now manages her co-teachers. She also assists the department head in all admin tasks.

Dawn welcomed the promotion. She was excited about the management role. It was part of her resolution to take on more responsibilities as she grew older.

As she settled into her new role, she quickly discovered that it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing. It came with challenges including office politics and drama. After all, she was managing people, with different perspectives, emotions, and issues.

She often found herself in difficult situations in between co-workers. Her phone became a permanent body attachment, since she wanted to promptly respond to work-related emails and messages. Unpaid overtime occupied her weekends.

On the other hand, she picked up a handful of new skills. She became more polished in communicating with different people. She learned to be more systematic in making critical decisions and in dealing with crises. 

Through her managerial role, she has also been a catalyst of change. She served as a bridge between her co-workers and the bosses to address areas of improvement. Through her intervention, the teachers were heard, and management listened.

However, it was as if the universe demanded a price to be paid. Adult acne plagued her face. Neck strain tormented her regardless of countless massage therapy sessions. She has also missed out on invitations from friends.

Is this now a FIGHT or FLIGHT situation for Dawn? Does she battle it out with her struggles? Or does she walk away?

The Question Is…

I have met many others like Dawn in my career coaching. 

To answer the “fight or flight” question or to determine if she is in such a situation, she needs to ask herself more questions. 

What do I truly want? Is it admin work? Working with my co-teachers? Do I want to be with my students? What makes me happy? Is the fight worth my while?

Some of you will say, “It’s a promotion. If I choose ‘flight,’ it might be degrading.” But is it really? 

Check out this article from the World Economic Forum entitled, “Working less could benefit the entire workplace – but how?” It’s about how better mental health makes employees productive.

To Dawn and many others out there, what will lessen your burnout and make you more productive?

I’m also a teacher, and I get lots of teaching load every school term. I love to teach but I am so stressed with the admin work. This is why I try to use technology as much as I can. 

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, to delegate, and to trust and work with people. Also, keep in mind that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.


If you want to explore Career Coaching with me, get in touch through

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