Struggles You May Face While Working And How To Cope
It can be hard to cope with general life when you’re going through a hardship or struggle, but coping with work is even more difficult. You have to try to put your personal life on the sidelines at work, which can be pretty hard if you are going through something that’s having a large impact on your life. Death, divorce, and pregnancy are all hard to cope with at work for their own reasons, so it’s important to be prepared. Here is how you can cope with these struggles at work.
It can be difficult to deal with the death of a loved one under any circumstances, but it’s even more difficult dealing with your grief when you’re working. The first step that you need to take is let your employer know about the passing, and enquire about bereavement or compassionate leave. Any decent employers guide to bereavement leave will tell your employer to let you know in your contract the policy regarding bereavement leave, as it’s not actually a legal requirement. However, if you’re unsure, just ask; Most employers will be completely understanding and will allow you have as much time as you need.
When you return to work, it can be a great distraction from your grief. Of course, it’s unlikely to make you feel much better, but it’s a lot more productive than shutting down, which is the body’s natural reaction to grief. If you are having a rough day or struggling, accept the help and love that your employer and coworkers offer you. The last thing that you want to do is bottle up your emotions, and have them spill out on someone that doesn’t know you very well. Your coworkers may feel a little awkward around you at first, especially if they’ve not had to deal with much death before, but that’s because they don’t know how to help and comfort you; It hasn’t got anything to do with you directly, so forgive them for their awkwardness surrounding death.
Divorce is difficult, emotional, and may even be embarrassing, but the first thing that you need to do is let your employer know. Of course, you don’t need to go into massive details, and you don’t need to explain the ins and outs of your marriage, but simply giving your boss a heads up about your situation is sure to be appreciated. This way they will be able to understand if your mind isn’t on the job as much as normal, and will be able to give you support if you require it. They may even offer you some time off until you’re feeling a little more at peace with the situation.
As important as this support is inside of work, you will also want to have plenty of support available outside of work. The last thing you want to do is risk alienating your work-friends by constantly venting to them about your situation. While it’s fine to have an occasional chat over your coffee break, it’s important also to have support outside of the workplace who you can lean on.
As much as you should minimize the amount of venting you do at work, you definitely shouldn’t use work as an excuse to bottle up your feelings, or a place to escape your emotions. This can only result in your exploding and spill out all of your pent-up anger and upset to the first person you see. Instead, you need to deal with your emotions in a healthy way, such as talking through them and use your job to keep you focused and positive. Keep a picture of your children on your desk or screensaver to keep you focused on the things that matter right now.
While you may not necessarily view pregnancy as ‘a struggle’, it isn’t the easiest or most straightforward thing to go through and is sure to make you struggle at work. Like with everything else, you need to inform your boss about your pregnancy, as soon as you are comfortable announcing it. This is usually after the first trimester. Your boss will then be able to offer you some support and will be able to let you know of your options regarding maternity leave. Letting your co-workers know is also a sensible idea. This way, if you’re having a particularly tough day and are struggling with your work, or have to have any time off, they will understand why and will be able to help you, rather than see you being lazy or not wanting to do your work.
If you often work outside or have to complete tasks that are unsafe for a pregnant woman, such as go up ladders, you need to speak to your boss about this and see if you can complete other work during your pregnancy. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so do this even if you feel a little awkward asking for ‘special treatment’; Any decent boss will have absolutely no problem helping you as much as they can.
It’s better to start thinking about your options for after maternity leave sooner rather than later, and letting your boss know of your decisions so that they can be prepared. If you want to return to work full time after your pregnancy, that’s great, but you need to let your boss know. However, it can be hard working full time with children, so your boss will understand if you want to reduce your hours, require a more flexible schedule, or want to leave work altogether. Figure out what you want to do, and let your boss know as soon as possible; After all, the sooner you let them know, the easier it will be for both of you, and the longer they will have to come up with a plan of their own.
Death, divorce, and pregnancy are all difficult for their own reasons, but can all affect your ability to concentrate on work. The most important thing to do is let your employer know, and then work from there. Hopefully, these tips will help you out if you ever have to go through any of these struggles.