It was a wonderful evening at Expert360’s debut community summit last week. The platform and work that Expert360 are building is where the future is headed – the land of freelance and consulting work with rotating projects and high-end talent suddenly becoming on demand.
I couldn’t help and sit there wondering how exactly this new world is going to impact on our mental health. Technology is growing faster than many of our brains can keep up with, change is happening within a blink of an eye. We are being told that we need to stay nimble to keep our jobs, and we need to go above and beyond to be recognised as anything more than a replaceable seat.
With mental health, it sometimes feels as though us, as the mental health experts, are Debbie downers. What happens to our mental health if we start to change faster than our brains can cope with? What happens to our mental health without stability that allows routine and an element of self-reflection? What happens to our mental health when the responsibility is nobody’s to check in with the new consultant that is only with them for a week in the team?
Much of the research shows our need for connection; our innate need to become part of something greater than ourselves. And as much as controlling your own hours and having the ability to go home for an early Friday afternoon cocktail is great, there is always a caveat. For consultants and freelancers, that caveat is slowly become the impact is has on our mental ability to keep up. I ask you to begin contemplating, how does the flexibility and control that consulting work brings really impact on our connection to the work that we do, and the community that we form part of? And, more importantly, what are we doing about it?
At Grow Together Now, we run services that support members, employees, and fellow humans to be able to manage their mental health better in a way that hasn’t been done before. Typically, mental health has been kept in the healthcare field where psychiatrists and psychologists sit with their diagrams and charts. But Grow Together Now have a mission to make mental health human again; to make it about a conversation that we look forward to and challenging our thinking to incorporate it into our businesses and daily lives.