Cara de Lange encourages people to slow down and develop wellbeing strategies to combat burnout prevention in high-pressured corporate environments. Her book Softer Success details her top strategies. We caught up with her for a Q&A session before her talk at European Women in Technology.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm a wellbeing mentor, consultant and author of the book Softer Success. I am passionate about helping clients, teams and employees change their mindset to prevent burnout and create a more harmonious, peaceful and productive life.
What made you decide to set up Softer Success?
For over 20 years I have worked in the corporate world, mainly in fast-paced, multi-national advertising and global technology companies such as Google (where I worked for 11 years!), Saatchi & Saatchi & Reckitt Benckiser, which initially sowed the seeds for my current work. Seeing colleagues suffer overwhelm, high stress levels and burnout started me on the path to helping people heal. But it was my own full-blow burnout in 2015 that acted as the catalyst to establish my own business, Softer Success, dedicated to helping people slow down, tune in and develop wellbeing strategies.
Did you face any challenges when setting it up. And if so, how did you resolve them?
Setting up a new company is not easy. Initially, I faced resistance from companies because there was still a stigma around mental health. The great news is that this is slowly changing; I kept on raising awareness at events and that is also why I wrote my book Softer Success. I am now being invited into many companies to do talks or to run my training programs 'Prevent Burnout Find Balance'. The CIPD states that less than 50% of managers has been trained on how to talk to their teams about stress and mental health. I am on a mission to change this!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are so many things I love about my job! I love running workshops and talks - connecting with people and helping them set up their wellbeing strategy. to see them feel more balanced.
Is there anything you miss about working in a corporate environment?
The free restaurant food at Google!
Why have you decided to get involved with European Women in Technology, what will you be speaking about and why have you chosen this topic?
A friend recommended it to me. And I'm running a workshop called 'Prevent Burnout Find Balance' where I will share my 3-step strategy to prevent burnout. From experience I know there is a lot of stress in the tech world but by using techniques and tools to improve wellbeing we can prevent burnout and reduce stress
What would you say are the most important strategies for burnout prevention?
There are many, but I would say put aside time every day to do one thing that helps lower your stress levels (for example: exercise, meditate or just take deep breaths throughout the day)
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