Keeping your career on track while coping with a divorce is like juggling eggs: you have to remain focused to continue performing, and falling apart is not an option.
- If you are the boss going through a divorce, the key thing is appoint someone you trust to delegate responsibilities to.
- Explain to this person that you are dealing with some personal issues at home (don’t get into specifics) and that you will require some extra support in the coming weeks.
- When you delegate, be very specific about what outcomes need to be achieved. Have a discussion with this person or people about what you envisage and what the end game is and ask them to build plans for how those outcomes are to be achieved. Ask them to break the tasks down as much as possible, here is a suggested format:
- Once everything is handled and you have a structure in place to achieve the outcomes laid out, take some time off to handle your personal situation.
- If you have a very closely-knit team, share with them what is going on, but keep it brief. This is not the time to get the sympathy vote or try to get everyone to feel sorry for you. It’s important to remain powerful and grounded in their eyes. This will win their respect and devotion in more ways than one.
- Even if you have close relationships with clients, I wouldn’t recommend telling them about your divorce. Simply mention you are taking some time off and their new contact person whilst you are away is XXX.
- If necessary: Check in with your team whilst you are away to ensure that the delegation has worked successfully. This will give you peace of mind.
If you run your own company, then I strongly recommend you do the naked divorce program so you can get back on track as soon as possible. As you and I both know, there is no hiding behind emotions, you have to perform regardless of your emotional state – so get busy with your healing!
Lots of hugs
Firstly, tell your boss what you’re dealing with. Do this in a brief and matter-of-fact way. Ask for a few days off. Deal with any urgent matters that won’t wait until your return to office. If you think you might get overly emotional, write a formal email or letter.
- Communicate very clearly with your boss about what he or she can and can’t count on from you. Give deadlines and try your best to stick to them. However, if it looks like you are struggling to meet a deadline, communicate with your boss immediately and recommit to what is possible.
- Watch your work hours. Your colleagues and boss will be looking to see if you are working less hours, therefore, unless you have permission to work less, work the full allotted time you are hired to work. If you arrive late, communicate immediately that you are going to be late AND ensure you work later to make up the time.
- If you are taking time off and have close relationships with clients, I wouldn’t recommend telling them about your divorce. Simply mention you are taking some time off and their contact person whilst you are away is [insert name.]
- If you have the option to work from home, do so. It’s easier to maintain professional etiquette via email and remotely than to be around the colleagues and people you work with every day when you’re dealing with raw emotions.
- Inform the accounts department as soon as possible about your pending divorce as your tax code may change. If you feel nervous about calling and aren’t feeling organized, prepare a list of things to communicate and email this through. Ensure that you include your current tax code in the email.
Stay tuned for part III…
Lots of hugs!