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Submitted by naraa on


 Hi, I am Nara.  I am a chemical engineering and I work in an engineering service company in Santiago, Chile.   I am, I think, a citizen of the world as people say it for those who now have an accent on every language they speak!   Well, actually  a piece of me is in Australia,  a big portion in Chile (two chilean kids), and of course the bigger portion Brazilian.  I am really Brazilian (specially when it comes to soccer).  

I have known manager-tools since 2007, but only recently have been listening to it regularly every week and contributing to the forum discussions.  I have applied a number of techniques I have learned here on my job and they have been really really helpful.  It strikes me how accurate and applicable it is for management in Chile even though it is done in the US. I guess the only advice that doesn´t really apply is "never ever dance at a company function", I can´t remember which podcast that came out!  That does not really apply in South America!  

I am, or I was, a manager in an engineering company which grew from 18 to 130 people in the last 7 years.  I really appreciate the podcast in the 150 rule, although it is a challenge still to implement the recommendations there!  I say I was because a couple of months ago I had a stress crisis, or something like that.  I was in my office in front of my computer and I started seeing things like the save screen in the computer which mixes the pixels around.  The save screen wasn´t on though!  I ended up in the emergency room.  I took a two week break and then decided to take three months!  I guess the only podcast still missing here is how to manage well being a mom of a 4 and a 2 year old and a full time working manager.  I haven´t figure it out it!  For now, I will take it easy and go back to work on some specific assignments which do not require full time work!

At the moment I am really interested on how companies (and managers) can adapt to a changing society.  I don´t really think "double income double kids 45 to 60 hours a week working parents" is a sustainable combination in the long run.  Good professional woman are dropping out and good professional man will follow.

I would also really like an Effective Manager´s tool Conference to be held in Santiago!  Perhaps people can show interest and we can invite (and convince) Mark and Mike to come here!?  Or perhaps we get enough numbers for them to come to Brazil (before the soccer world cup of course!).

Glad to be part of this community.




nadaali's picture

Hi Nara, 

Glad to see you decided to tell us more about yourself...

Sounds to me like your emergency room visit was probably because of burnout.

I myself suffered some burnout in 2009-2010.  Mostly because I was part of an understaffed high intensity project.  Nothing happened during the project but at the end I had no energy, physical or mental for weeks.

While the team was celebrating the end of the project I had crawled into my bed and stayed in it for a whole week.

One thing I noticed is that I have become desensitised.  No emergency fazes me anymore.  This is probably because throughout the project (which was a major sports event) I was dealing with "emergencies", mostly created by others' bad planning or just plain incompetence.

My current job is much simpler.  It is routine and does not involve dealing with many people (gracias a Dios).

I think you made an excellent decision to stay on the market and to be selective about the projects you get involved with. Perhaps when the two kids are in school you can consider going back to work or gradually taking up bigger projects.

All the best,

Nada S.



naraa's picture
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 Hi Nada,

Thanks for replying.  Yes, it was burnout, or the beginning of it, as I have been told if it were full burnout it would probably take me years to recover and perhaps I would not be able to go back to the same environment.  Glad to know I am not alone.  Encouraging to know you have become desensitised. Other people have told me the same.  I am still scared though to fall in the same trap again.  I know what the trap is, a combination of the work environment with a personal characteristic of getting over-involved, obsessed, not resting until it is finished.  The strength that has helped me accomplished things over the years which became my weakness.  I guess I would be a full to fall in the same trap now that I can recognise it.  I do want to go back and be involved on fewer things and projects which do not require full time dedication, but it is hard to be the odd one out, the salmon going against the current.  It is tempting to follow other rivers with calmer waters.

Thanks for the encouragement,


jcunich's picture

Hi Nara,

I started reading your post becouse it was from someone from Chile, but it really impress me your burnout sintoms. I remember in my university, one day I could´t read, words was moving in the book like ants!

I hope you the best,


José Antonio

Santiago, Chile.