How not to let divorce ruin your career

Going through a divorce is often cited as one of the most stressful experiences that can be thrown at you in your life.  There are certainly not many people who sail blissfully through the breakdown of a major relationship and the rearrangement of the fallout without it taking an emotional toll.

But what about when you are trying to hold down your job at the same time?  A job that was probably hard and stressful enough when you could head home at the end of the day and kick back and relax and get a good night’s sleep?  What about when your mind seems to be constantly filled with divorce terminology and emotional turmoil and you are having to fit in solicitor’s meetings, organising paperwork and so on, and possibly caring for your family and their needs as well?  There are some vital ways to help you deal with this fraught time of your life.

Try to get a system of organisation back into your life.  Your routine may have been upended and your mind may be full to bursting of all the things that need to be done, so write lists of everything that pops into your head, and also work out when you are going to do everything that you need to do, even simple things such as ‘cook tea’, ‘pack children’s bags’, ‘read article for work’.  This not only will help you to stay on top of everything and ensure that you don’t end up in work unprepared for a crucial meeting, but will help you to feel more in control if emotionally, things are spiralling into a stressful place.

You need to find an outlet for your pent up emotions.  Exercise is an excellent way to de-stress and get rid of anger or frustration, as is having a good rant to get it out of your system with someone who knows you well.  Just do not do this in work time or with your work colleagues!

Talk to your boss rather than try and hide anything. If you approach them in a professional way and ask to talk to them so that they understand what is happening in your life they will be much better able to see the bigger picture than if you let them down at the last minute.  For example, if you think you may have to have a meeting with a solicitor in work time, you could ask to work later on another day or swap a shift with a colleague.  Doing this in advance is far more professional and many workplaces can negotiate a different timetable, or working practices to help ease the situation whilst still maintaining their workforce.

Sit down and brainstorm your ‘web of support’.  All of those people that you can call upon to help you out as and when you need them for different purposes.  Is your Mum available to feed the dog on the day you have to work late?  Can your friend pick up your children and have them at her house one night a week and you do the same in return?  Is there a cleaner who can do a couple of hours of cleaning so that you can do your work in peace?  Who would be an emergency contact should a crisis occur?  Just having the contact numbers and a plan in place for all eventualities can work wonders to help you concentrate on your job when in work.

When in work, concentrate on work.  Focus on one task at a time and completely separate your home and work life as much as is possible.  Pour yourself into your work, enjoy the fact that you can devote your mind to the tasks at hand, empty your brain of anything relating to your divorce until hometime.  Use it as a chance to show just how great you are at your career and immerse yourself in delivering to a high standard.  It can be one of your greatest assets in maintaining your routine during the stress and upheavals in the rest of your life.

 

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