Lesson #11: You will experience hard times at work, but you will survive

Work isn’t always fun. Hence, why it’s called, “work” and not, “play.” I can guarantee that each year there will be a day when you’d rather be almost anywhere else other than your place of employment.

Lesson #11: You will experience hard times at work, but you will survive.

Can you relate to any of these scenarios?

  • The long hours of budget season or a time-sensitive project caused you to miss happy hour, your college reunion, your child’s little league game, etc.
  • Your boss or teammate (who was awesome) left; you’re working overtime until your company hires a replacement and/or trying to adjust to the new atmosphere.
  • You received a poor performance review and you’re working your butt off to meet expectations.
  • You’re suffering from a personal problem that you prefer to keep private.

These situations happen to all of us. It’s important to know that you will survive and things will get better. Here are some tips to help you overcome the tough times at work.

1. Be optimistic.
All jobs have their ups and downs. It takes time for change to settle. Be patience and you will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, view the situation as an opportunity. Being able to manage stress is a huge strength. The experience will train you to handle similar situations in the future.

2. Reevaluate your work schedule.
If your workload has changed, your normal method of time management might not be efficient anymore. Reexamine your weekly schedule. Plan to complete your high priority assignments early in the week to avoid conflicts with unexpected events. Make sure you take lunch breaks and walking breaks. A ten minute break can boost your performance more than you think it can.

3. Voice your concerns.
Unless your boss is a psychic, he/she isn’t a mind reader. Your boss likely has just as much, if not more, on his/her plate as you do. Don’t feel comfortable speaking to your boss? Talk to a family member, friend or colleague; or, write down your feelings. Bottling your worries inside will prevent the bad energy from exiting your system.

4. Use your paid time off.
Burnout makes dealing with a difficult situation feel impossible. You won’t get very far without clearing your mind. Use a personal day to do something that is relaxing and enjoyable. A change of pace is always nice. Try to make sure you get away from work completely (i.e. don’t check your email).

5. Take advantage of your company’s employee assistance program.
Many companies partner with a third party vendor to provide employees with assistance for a variety of personal and professional matters. An employee assistance program gives you access to trained professionals who specialize in helping you deal with addiction, depression, financial issues, life changes, stress, work-life balance and more. Your participation and conversations are kept confidential and are typically paid for by your company. If your company doesn’t offer this benefit, contact your human resources manager for guidance. That’s one of many reasons why he/she is there!

Are you having a hard time at your job? Share your story, advice and questions in the comments section.

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