How to Deal with Separation/Divorce at Work
Dealing with a divorce while working can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to minimise the impact on your work performance.
1. Communicate with your supervisor, manager or HR team about your situation and let them know that you may need to be out of the office more than usual, but that you will still complete your work.
2. Keep the news of your separation/divorce to a minimum, only share it with close co-workers initially while you’re coming to terms with it. Gossip and snide comments can make the situation more difficult, and often harder to process.
3. Get involved in group projects to keep your mind occupied and avoid ruminating on your personal life.
4. Avoid reading divorce-related personal emails and avoid discussing your divorce during work hours, unless it is necessary to speak with your attorney.
5. Do not engage in phone arguments with your partner/spouse during work hours, as it can be disruptive and overheard by others.
6. Maintain a professional demeanor and avoid lashing out at co-workers, superiors, and clients, you may feel frustrated, exhausted, and emotional.
7. Seek therapy or a divorce coach to help cope with the emotional stress of divorce and navigate the journey.
8. Make sure you have a support network in place outside of work.
9. Avoid quitting your job as it can negatively impact your financial situation.
10. Take a walk or get some fresh air if you feel overwhelmed.
11. Do not bring up your divorce during job interviews.
It’s important to remember that getting a divorce can be worse than a bereavement or having an illness. Taking time off or being temporarily unavailable, less productive may be expected but with the right support system in place and communicating with your employer situations can be avoided and understood.
Employers generally are understanding and compassionate if they know what is going on. Employees should do their best to maintain their professional behaviour and performance during this difficult time.