Whether you may not feel the need to bring personal changes up with your coworkers or they are your main support system, dealing with your divorce at work requires unique considerations. It’s important to remember that you are in a professional setting, but you may need to give some information to your boss.
While no two work relationships are the same and every office has different levels of personal involvement, here are some tips to navigating your divorce in the workplace:
- Tell your boss – It may be tempting to keep everything about your divorce private, but it’s important that your manager or boss knows that you’re going through a big life change. While you may believe you’ll stay productive and focused throughout your divorce, it’s a good idea to inform your boss just in case your work is affected.
- Be careful what you share – You are going through a huge change, but that doesn’t mean that everyone at the office needs to be involved. Try to tell people what is happening on a need-to-know basis. Tell your boss and H.R. representative so they can support you in a professional capacity. If your closest friends happen to be coworkers, let them know what’s going on. Remember, though, that none of these people signed up to be a sounding board for all the frustrations you have with your ex. Maintain professionalism and try to stay in work mode.
- Keep your emotions in check – While your coworkers probably care about you and want to support you, remember that it’s not always fair to project negative emotions onto them. Take time to steady yourself before addressing your divorce at work. You don’t want to breakdown in front of your boss or find yourself snapping at coworkers. Try to keep your time at work positive by staying around hopeful and empathetic people. Don’t indulge in negativity, even if it’s unrelated to your divorce.
- Take care of yourself – This can look hundreds of different ways: Take some time off. Establish healthy routines outside of work. Lean on your support system. Talk with your H.R. representative about any resources the company provides like counseling. There is no shame in utilizing the resources available to keep yourself healthy and a good worker.
- Stay productive – It can be easy to feel bogged down by emotional changes in your personal life. While your manager or boss may be understanding, do your best to stay productive while you’re at work. Give yourself tangible but reasonable goals for each day. Don’t push yourself too much and risk burnout but be sure you are still contributing as a good employee.
- Keep things separate – Try not to bring your divorce into work. If you need to call or send emails about your divorce, always use your personal phone and account. Better yet, confine your divorce dealings to times outside work or during your lunch break. Be sure to only take calls in areas where others can’t hear, like a conference room or your car. When you keep your divorce proceedings from getting tangled up in work, it supports your privacy and helps maintain healthy boundaries.
These tips will help you navigate big life changes in a professional setting, but above all, remember to take care of yourself and get the support you need.