Subject: How to not let personal dramas affect your work life
Now, I’m pretty sure with this post I’ll be preaching to the choir but it’s still a topic I think is sadly not discussed that often. Yes, thankfully mental health awareness is on the rise and we are all a little more sensitive and aware of other feelings (about time) but what about in the workplace?
For a long time, we have separated our lives, work and life. Here at The Intern 24/7 we often use the hashtag #worklifebalance not really understanding what that means ourselves and how people find it. Ever since I stepped into the working world we are told to leave personal dramas and emotions at the door and to keep your head down and get on with the task at hand. But how possible is that really?
Whether you’ve broken up with your partner, your family is dealing with a loss, you are generally feeling pretty shitty about yourself or your having other issues. We are expected to somehow not let that magically affect our work life. Now I do sometimes think I could have been a super hero in another life but certainly not this one… therefore, how the hell are we meant to suddenly turn into emotionless robots from 9-5?
It takes a certain type of person to be able to focus solely on the task at hand and not let their mind wander into worries or concerns from other areas of your life. But should our workplaces be more lenient when their employees are going through personal hardships? Let us know what you think in our closed Facebook group - we love a rant.
Regardless of whether we think you should be able to take a personal day to sort some shit out of not, a lot of companies sadly don’t have those kind of procedures in place, therefore we have to work with the system that we have… for now.
Tell yourself there is nothing you can do - being at work during a hard time in your life sucks, there are i’m sure, millions of places you’d rather be than sat at your desk pretending to work. But, for now, unless you have a solid excuse - your boyfriend being an asshole isn’t going to cut it. Remind yourself that there is nothing you can do in the moment to fix things therefore try as best as you can to not over analyse what you could be doing instead.
Use your lunch break and time before and after work effectively - if you are someone who can’t sit and wait for a problem to solve itself then use the time you have around work effectively. Make some calls during your lunch break or before work to clear the issue. Just because in the day time you’re working it doesn’t mean you are not allowed to make personal calls on your lunch break. (another reminds to TAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK)
Be as open as you possibly can with your manager (within reason) - depending on your relationship with your manager or team, you may feel you can be open with them regarding what you’re going through. If something is troubling you at home, it certainty will affect your work therefore making your manager aware of the issue or at least the issue matter will help them understand what you’re going through. You don’t necessarily have to tell them your life story but by hinting what’s troubling you will make them aware of what's up. They may also be able to cut you some slack and allow you to leave early/arrive later if you have to sort something out.
We all have personal lives, it I unrealistic to think both lives will always run smoothly alongside one another. So don’t be too hard on yourself, remember however shitty the situation is, with time things will get easier.
I mentioned the Facebook group above earlier - the group is dedicated to interns in lots of different industries, it is a space for them to ask each other’s questions and seek advice. Don’t be shy to use it, we certainly aren’t. Join here