Micheal White (2007) explains the process of Externalisation as “conversations in which people have the opportunity to identify and to further develop accounts of what they intend for their lives and of what they accord value in their lives”. Narrative Therapy is where the term ‘Externalising Conversations’ had first been introduced as it was the process of separating the issue from the individual, as many individuals tend to internalise and not acknowledge their issues.
Change is often a factor of life where it has either welcomed itself or it has been implemented by yourself. From a young age, I have learnt to accept change. Sometimes it is inevitable, other times we need to encourage change in order to grow. When the inevitable change happens, people often feel as they have lost control. Although, learning to acknowledge and accepting the change is a way of having control. This can also allow an individual to understand what they need to do for themselves in order to get through the change.
Throughout my life, I have implemented change on my own accord to different aspects of life. Reflecting back, it has often been when I have felt stagnant in my current position, outgrown my current environment or I no longer feel the environment I am in is serving me any purpose. I always want to be growing and bettering myself as an individual. If I feel the environment I am in does not allow me to do that, then it’s not the environment for me and I’ll seek change.
Earlier this year, I had celebrated my 6 year anniversary at the Aquatic Centre I had been working at since I was 15 years old. There were many different sectors to the Aquatic Centre and I had basically been trained on everything. The environment and the people were so familiar to me. I distinctively remember around the end of last year, I was beginning to feel bored and that I had outgrown the environment. Coming into my last year of University, I knew I would have to begin thinking about looking for work in my field of study. Fast forward to May of this year where I was speaking more and more to my closest friends/ work colleagues about finding something more in my field of study. Later on in that same week, we met up with a few friends for dinner where I was explaining to them my current dilemma and not really knowing if it’s something I should action yet. One of my friends who works as a Marketing Coordinator, had said that a job opportunity opened up at her work for a Marketing Position and that I should hand in my resume. I was quite shocked and didn’t expect that me voicing my current dilemma to turn into a potential opportunity.
The following Monday I had handed in my resume, by Wednesday I got a job interview and then 2 weeks later in the first week of June, I had begun my new full-time role as a Marketing Coordinator at a property development company. It had happened so fast but I really felt comfortable with the transition because it was something I was seeking for a really long time. Although I had welcomed this change, an unexpected change had then been thrown into the mix as we were put into lockdown.
I have now been working full-time and studying full- time from home for the past 3 months. Reflecting on these past weeks, there have been moments of uncertainty due to my performance in my role and the constant questioning of whether I am effectively balancing work and study. At times, it has been extremely overwhelming but I am quite thankful for this lockdown as I have been able to be provided the constant support of my family. Having their support has allowed me to process my emotions and also navigate my way through learning a new job. If we weren’t in a lockdown, I would be travelling 45mins to work in North Sydney or 1 hour to Uni in Wollongong every single day, which is time consuming and exhausting. I feel I have been able to easily adapt to this lockdown as I am someone who encourages change and accepts change for what it is. I see it as a benefit to me, as it is an opportunity to take on any obstacles, in the comfort of my home.
The words of anthropologist Babara Myerhoff, really stuck with me as she states that we should see the world in a new light, encouraging us to strengthen in times of uncertainty. Myerhoff’s perspective of change resonated with me, stating we should move on from the present situation and embrace what is to come (Myerhoff & Metzger, 1980). As I had stated previously, I have often encouraged change as I know it will bring new experiences where I will learn and grow.
The use of narrative reflection on experiences of change and disruption at work has demonstrated to me that that there is change we seek and change that happens unexpectedly but overall we should view them both as opportunities or a chance to further understand ourselves, our resilience and our ability to grow from these changes.
Morgan, A 2000, ‘What is narrative therapy? An easy-to-read introduction’, Dulwich Centre Publications, Adelaide, accessed here: <https://dulwichcentre.com.au/what-is-narrative-therapy/>
Myerhoff, B., Metzger, D., 1980, ‘The Journal as activity and genre: Or listening to the Silent Laughter of Mozart’, Semiotica, Vol. 30, No. 1-2, pp. 97-114, https://www.degruyter.com/view/journals/semi/30/1-2/article-p97.xml.
White, M., 2007. Maps of Narrative Practice. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, [online] 19(4). Available at: <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08975350802475114?casa_token=n5H5GgeB8PEAAAAA:2PEcEHXxWqRVqSOtOaPzMdCOUjXUrMcsVeaDVZWpX5uNXnxOREQX4izfAtAiY0btnH3PCXgtseYj>