My Life is in Turmoil - How to Deal at Work
We all know work does not happen in a vacuum. Management tells us we need to keep our personal problems out of the workplace, but is it truly possible? No one has an emotional on/off switch. No matter how hard we try, what happens outside the workplace carries over into our ability to give a satisfactory performance on the job.
Once the problem carries over into your ability to do your job, it must be addressed. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. If you think your supervisor or co-workers don't notice, think again. If you think your work isn’t suffering, take another look. No matter how we try to disguise the problem, turmoil at home does not make a peaceful existence at work.
While you should not seek advice on your finances, love life or other relationship issues from your co-workers, you do need to take action to protect yourself. Taking a proactive approach may help prevent losing your job.
So what should you do?
Talk to your supervisor. If your work is suffering, now is the time to have a chat with your supervisor before the situation goes from bad to worse. This does not mean you need to give them blow by blow details. It does mean you need to acknowledge you may not be performing at satisfactory levels.
Let your supervisor know there are situations currently happening in your life which may affect your work performance. Ask for their patience. Give them a time period when you hope to have the situation under control. If you don’t have a definite date, tell them you want to revisit the situation in 30 days or so. Showing you are taking responsibility for your actions is a true sign of professionalism.
Does your company offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counseling program? A lot of companies are on the health and wellness trend. A healthy employee is a productive employee. Most companies offer a free EAP program to employees and their immediate families. If your company offers EAP benefits, use them.
If solving the issue will take time or has you totally incapable of performing, request time off. If it is not a busy period, many employers will grant you a few days off (using your leave) to take care of personal business. It’s imperative, however, you use the time to get yourself together. Returning to work the same or worse off then when you left will not help.
Most managers understand “life happens.” It’s how you handle the situation and the steps you take to maintain a satisfactory work performance level of performance which matters to the company bottom line. Avoiding the situation in the hopes it goes unnoticed is setting yourself up for disaster.
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