What Does Divorce Do to Your Career?

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People don’t get married with the intention of getting divorced, though according to recent statistics, about one-third of current marriages will end in one. While this is up from the popular myth that posits nearly half of all married couples divorce, it does not change the reality that divorce is a major life event, with frequently emotionally devastating results.

While it may be common knowledge that divorce can affect relationships with friends and family, the professional toll that divorce wreaks often goes unsaid. If divorce impacts all aspects of life, why should one’s professional life be any different?

If you have recently gone through a divorce or are wading through one currently, is crucial that you don’t let the negativity trickle into your work life.

Time Management

Divorce can have unfortunate consequences when it comes to time management. In addition to time-consuming meetings with lawyers and mandated court appearances, there are other constraints to consider. If you shared living quarters your spouse, for the sake of your own wellbeing, you will you need to find somewhere else to stay, whether crashing with friends and family, or finding a completely new residence. Regardless of where you end up, you must carve out the necessary time to make these arrangements.

If you need to tour a new home or apartment, you may be unable to relegate that to weekend time, so it is important to talk with your boss about this beforehand. Depending on your relationship with your boss, you do not need to be explicit about your circumstances, but make sure to explain how you plan to make up any missed work if you are not taking a temporary leave of absence or using paid time off. In either scenario, use your down time wisely so that you can return to work prepared to handle your job with a clear and focused mind.

Workplace Professionalism

Divorce is similar to bereavement in that it is a significant loss, and it will affect you in your day-to-day life, often in unexpected ways. It is critical that you are open to processing your thoughts and feelings, whether that means seeing a therapist, confiding in loved ones, or taking some time much-needed time for yourself. In this time of turmoil, you may find yourself seeking comfort from those close to you, which can include your coworkers. Regardless of your personal relationship with your coworkers, keep it professional at work and don’t divulge any confidential information. While your colleagues are likely to be sympathetic to your circumstances, the workplace is not the ideal place to let your emotions get the best of you. Do not take advantage of your colleagues’ condolences by making them uncomfortable with details of your marriage or your former spouse. Though you may request flexibility from your coworkers during this tumultuous time, consider keeping your private life just that – private.  

Health and Wellbeing

Though the emotional toll of divorce is quite taxing, it can take a physical toll as well. It is not uncommon for depression and anxiety levels to increase, which can cause a painful mixture of lethargy, hopelessness, and constant worrying. Men can also be at risk for developing heart disease following a divorce, as well as significant fluctuations in weight. Though the last thing you may feel like doing is exercising and eating well, taking care of your health is crucial during this difficult time.

Similarly, if you find your sleep suffering, consider visiting a doctor or therapist specializing in sleep disorders to set you back on track. With a lack of sleep, many men find themselves feeling out of sorts in the morning, appearing disheveled or poorly groomed in the workplace. If you’re trying to keep your divorce under wraps, the last thing you’ll want is your co-workers to grow suspicious about your appearance and behavior. Take time for yourself, and don’t neglect your health or wellbeing.

Going through a divorce can have many negative side effects, but the demise of your career shouldn’t become one of them. Maintain stability by keeping your work life constant and professional. Though divorce is unquestionably painful, you can get through it by taking care yourself and seeking the comfort of close friends and family.

Did your divorce affect your career? What did you learn from it? Share your advice in the comments section below!

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