(This article was also published in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper May 4th, 2015)
Imagine in the next six months your life changing. You can’t be sure exactly what day it hits you, but it becomes achingly obvious at home and at work as the months wear on. Changes: anger, irritability, and a relentless sense of hopelessness; constant physical pain and confusion; sleepless nights, loss of appetite. And the satisfaction of feeling engaged, fulfilled and trusted at work — of being liked by colleagues — is undeniably a distant memory.
Your manager stops talking to you. Co-workers avoid you. Tasks within your ability are parceled out to co-workers. You aren’t informed about updates to meetings and projects. You aren’t included in conversations. You are terrified of making mistakes. You are waiting to be fired.
Years ago, all this happened to me, and I judged myself harshly for being weak and stupid to let this happen to me, to someone who was once a rising star.