When you’re going through divorce, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained. While some divorces are easier than others, it’s still a difficult process. No one gets into a marriage wanting or expecting to split up. So, people handle the process differently. In any case, it adds a lot of stress to your everyday life, including your career.
It can be difficult to remain positive and motivated at work when you’re going through a divorce. Stress makes it easy to become disengaged in what you’re supposed to be doing. Between court dates, meeting with your attorney, dividing up assets, and everything in between, maintaining a high level of productivity at work can feel impossible.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a continuously uphill battle. Having a better understanding of the impact a divorce can have on your job can increase your overall awareness when it comes to staying focused. When you’re determined to remain motivated and not let the stress of your split keep you from succeeding at work, there are some steps you can take to make that easier on yourself — no matter how impossible it might seem now.
How Does Divorce Impact Your Job?
It’s no secret that the stress of a divorce impacts productivity. When you’re thinking about your marriage or everything you have to do surrounding your split, it’s hard to keep your focus on work. Unfortunately, that has a larger impact than most people realize. You could be costing your business a lot of money and resources. On average, the cost of an employee going through a divorce to a company/organization is $83,171. Much of that is due to a lack of productivity, or days missed for things like court hearings.
All of those scheduling conflicts can create other problems, too. Some divorces are messier than others, especially if children are involved. You may have to frequently miss work to meet with your lawyer, attend mediation, etc. Even if your company isn’t worried about your productivity, no business wants their employees to miss day after day of work due to personal issues. If it becomes excessive, you could be putting your job security in jeopardy.
Finally, there’s the personal impact that divorce can have on your job. While over 800,000 couples get divorced each year in the United States, there are still some unfortunate stigmas behind it for some people. You might feel embarrassed in the office or become a source of rumors if you’ve told some co-workers about what you’re going through. This can create an unpleasant working environment — not just for you, but for your co-workers as well.
Making the Process as Smooth as Possible
When you’re going through a divorce, one of the best things you can do for your employer is to be as upfront and honest as possible. Tell your boss or manager what you’re going through. If you’re honest about how it’s impacting your life, they’re more likely to offer you some flexibility in your schedule, or whatever else you might need to stay mentally and emotionally motivated.
You should also connect with the HR department as soon as possible to figure out how to plan for your future. If your spouse was on your insurance plan, you’ll need to get them taken off. You can also explore different insurance options, pension/retirement plans, etc. Being proactive about your future with your company is a great way to remain motivated and let them know you want to keep working there.
It’s easy to make emotionally-triggered decisions when you’re going through a divorce. But, you should never leave your job on impulse, just because of what you’re going through. Take time to think about your options and don’t automatically assume your employer will be upset with you because of what you’re going through. When you show a desire to keep working for your company and your employer sees that, there’s a good chance they will be more understanding of your circumstances. You might find that your job is a great source of stability and routine in your life when everything else starts to feel like its unraveling.
Taking Care of Yourself
It’s important to find a healthy work-life balance when you’re going through a divorce. Not only will that help you to remain more productive and motivated, but it will help you through your personal emotional roadblocks, too. Taking care of yourself will make it easier not to fall apart, especially when you’re at work.
Take a few days off if you need to — not to make an appointment with your lawyer, and not to go to court — just to breathe and grieve. Remember, a divorce is a type of loss. It’s okay to grieve over your relationship, and most employers will be understanding of that. When you give yourself time to do that, you’ll be less likely to continue the grieving process while at work. It’s also okay to say “no” sometimes if you have too much on your plate at work. While distracting yourself with work can be a great way to keep your mind off the emotional turmoil you’re going through, too much work can add to your stress level and make you even less motivated. It could even be more harmful to your mental health.
By taking care of your emotional and mental health, you can get through a divorce and maintain enough motivation at work to get your job done successfully. It might not always feel easy to stay positive while going through divorce, but remember that the divorce process won’t last forever. When it’s finally over, you can remain rooted in your career and find fulfillment in how you were able to stick with it even through one of the most difficult times of your life.