By Jaclyn Ades
Work, just like life, has its ups and downs. Maybe you’ve been assigned a new supervisor after 10 years with the same boss. Maybe a colleague resigned, and you are tasked with more responsibility. Whatever the circumstances, things don’t always go as planned on the job.
When a difficult situation arises at work, you’re first instinct may be to want to quit, but, of course, that’s not realistic. Instead, take a deep breath and come up with a plan to stick it out. Be resilient. Below are some helpful tips to help manage a rough patch at work:
• Take breaks –Sometimes it helps to take a walk outside and let the work situation diffuse itself. You will hopefully return to work with a clear head.
• Pause for lunch – Only one in five workers are taking their lunch break, according to npr.org. Most employees work through their lunch breaks in order to complete their assigned tasks more quickly, but research shows that creativity and innovation thrive when people experience a change of scenery.
• Stay organized – Make ‘to do’ lists, use post-it notes, or find whatever it is that can keep you on top of things when you are feeling overwhelmed.
• Delegate – Explore the possibility of having some tasks re-assigned to different colleagues.
• Don’t take it home – Leaving your work at the office is better for your mental health. It’s not always easy, but it’s important to do this as much as possible.
• Speak up – Tell your supervisor if you are feeling overwhelmed or if a situation with a coworker has escalated. Don’t suffer in silence.
• Recharge your batteries – Find what it is that helps fill your tank and work it into your schedule. Whether it’s exercise, writing, or listening to music, the advice from careershifters.org is to find what’s therapeutic for you and make time for it.
• Reduce your hours – Sometimes working part time can be the answer to job burnout. If you can afford to do it and it works for your employer, consider cutting down on the time you spend on the job.
• Go on vacation – Research shows not taking vacation time can hinder a worker’s productivity, according to Forbes.com. There is a reason you have vacation time and most employers encourage their employees to use it.
It’s important to remember that work, much like life, is not perfect. Taking steps to make changes is good, and changing the way you think about it may be even better. It’s all a matter of perspective.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.
Jaclyn Ades is a career coach for the JCS Career Center.