Stress is a factor that finds its way into most people’s lives.
When a marriage breaks down and calls for divorce, stress is a constant companion throughout the entire legal process – regardless of whether both parties considered ending the relationship to be the right choice. According to the Holmes-Rahe inventory for stress, divorce is the second most significant stress in life – just below the death of a spouse and just above serving jail time or suffering from a personal injury. So how can you stop the negativity and havoc caused by divorce from working its way into other parts of your life – such as your career?
Divorce can mean reorganizing your life and your work schedule in some ways – such as creating time to pick the kids up from school or taking long lunches to attend meetings with your lawyer. However, this doesn’t mean that you should let it derail your professional future. Here’s how you can avoid allowing divorce to damage your career, and instead utilize it as a catalyst for future success.
Take Risks and Seize the Day
It may seem like a cliché, but a significant life event such as a divorce can push you to take stock of your life and the choices that you make. Rather than focusing on the past, and what went wrong – consider whether your divorce could be the push that you need to reinvent yourself.
It’s sometimes hard to imagine being at work and taking new risks when you’re worried about the consequences. But, ask yourself what the realistic outcomes could be. If you request a new project – what’s the worst that will happen? If you consider a transfer to a new place where you’ve always wanted to be – how can it impact your life on a negative level? The uncomfortable silver lining of divorce is that significant disruption can be a surefire path to success.
Focus on Your Health
We all know that divorce is a stressful event in anyone’s life – and for some it will be the most anxiety-provoking issue they ever experience. Unfortunately, although the chances are that you’ll already have enough to deal with, studies have shown that such a high level of stress can compromise the immune system – making you more prone to illness.
The worse you feel – the more tempted you may be to allow your work to slide – permitting yourself numerous sick days and reducing your productivity around the office. This is why, during a divorce, if you want to protect your career, you need to devote some time to looking after yourself. By putting your mental and physical health at the top of your list of priorities, you will begin to experience improved focus, more energy at home and work, and even a lighter, more positive outlook.
Find Your New Identity
When you’re no longer part of a “couple”, but a single entity, you’ll find yourself equipped with space that you never had before. Although it might be tempting to use that extra space as a place to dwell on the past, remember that it can be a force for good – helping you to discover your new identity and determine what you want out of life.
Learning how to be alone is both exciting and frightening at the same time. Some people move through the process easily, whereas others find every day to be a challenge. Although you may want to seek help from a professional therapist if your depression doesn’t lift, remember that the frame of mind you adopt can be important too. Take the time to think about what you want to achieve in your future:
Could you imagine asking for a promotion in your current position?
Do you think a change in career has long been on the cards?
Are you ready to adjust your professional life and demand happiness?
The space and clarity afforded by divorce can allow you to think about strategic decisions that you may have struggled to make before.
Keep Moving Forward
Although divorce is common, it will always have implications that affect your career. However, it’s important to remain positive. Assert your independence in a positive way – and you could make changes in your professional life that permit you to flourish and grow.
How did you deal with the repercussions of your divorce, and have you found it to be a positive or negative effect on your current career?