How to manage work during a personal crisis
Though you may face a personal crisis in life at times, your work should not take a hit, especially if it is a long-term problem. Whether a family member has fallen ill, a theft has happened at home or any other issue, your personal problems shouldn’t affect your professional life.
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“How is this possible?” you may ask. Perhaps these tips can help:
Tell your supervisor
Keep your manager or boss in the loop about the problem you are facing so they aren’t surprised by a dip in your work or your attitude. According to Nancy Collamer, a career coach at MyLifestyleCareer.com and author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement, people tend to be highly sympathetic in such situations and are often eager to help. If you are comfortable sharing your issues with them, you ought to seek their help in handling the problem too so that your work life does not suffer.
Share just enough
Your supervisor is not your friend, so they only need to know what is required. Do not share too much or too little, and ensure that you keep them in the loop about the developments in your situation. Ann Kaiser Stearns, bestselling author of Living Through Personal Crisis, says, “The more you disclose, the more easily your vulnerabilities and reactions can be scrutinised and misconstrued.” Tell them enough so they will understand the gravity of the situation and expectations aren’t mismatched.
Your supervisor is not your friend, so they only need to know what is required. Do not share too much or too little, and ensure that you keep them in the loop about the developments in your situation.
Though the situation you are handling at home may be emotionally draining and tiring, you must keep your emotions in check while managing work and your clients. You do not want to create a scene at work as you need to retain the respect that you have earned. Surround yourself with positive people, both at work and otherwise, so that you are always in the best frame of mind to handle any situation that is thrown at you.
Take time off
When your personal crisis is just not improving, it is eventually bound to take a toll on your work. The best option is to take some time off until things settle or look at alternatives such as working from home or a short sabbatical until you solve your issues. Though work can be a good distraction from your problem, the second the issue starts to encroach on your work quality, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Use the resources you are given
Many companies have an in-house counsellor whom you can talk to. Some companies may also provide insurance-covered psychological treatments. Take full advantage of these resources to deal with your problems. However, at the end of the day, how you handle the situation is up to you and your attitude.
Learn your boundaries
Do not let your personal problem cloud your work time or the quality of your work. Tell everyone in your personal life when you can be contacted regarding the crisis or further developments. Try to keep your problems outside the workplace as far as possible.
Always remember that if it is only for a day or two, you can always take time off to deal with your crisis. However, if it’s a long-term problem you must understand that your responsibilities at work will be affected and take the necessary steps.