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How do you keep your divorce from hurting your career?

Divorce can be a messy, expensive process.

The last thing, however, that you want to let your divorce cost you is your job. Unfortunately, that's a real possibility when you can't find a way to draw a division between your personal and professional lives.

Here are some suggestions that can ease the strain at work:

  1. Keep your direct supervisor apprised of court appearances or mandatory meetings as soon as you know about them. The more notice you can give your boss, the easier he or she can work around your schedule.
  2. If your divorce is dragging on or you're going through a particularly complicated period that causes you to miss a lot of work, ask if you can make up the time on the weekends, in the evenings or at home (depending on what type of job you have).
  3. If you have children, get a child care plan -- and a backup plan -- in place as quickly as possible. That will reduce the odds that you'll have to take off work suddenly to deal with an unexpected child care issue.
  4. Find a stress reliever that works for you -- whether it's yoga, meditation, jogging or Netflix binges at night -- and use it. Don't let your stress over the divorce show during work.
  5. Similarly, don't use your co-workers or supervisor as sounding boards for your thoughts, complaints or fears about the divorce. Don't look to them for sympathy either. Instead, find a good therapist who can help you work through your issues outside of the workplace.
  6. Put a stop to office gossip. This may be harder to do than it sounds -- people like to gossip and some people will make up what they don't know for certain. Don't announce your divorce until you feel it is necessary and don't invite questions. Have a prepared smile and a quick response to anticipated questions, like, "Why are you divorcing?" You can answer with something like, "It's a long story and I don't want to waste any more of my time on it, especially at work."

Getting through a divorce with your sanity, self-esteem and career intact are all possible -- it just takes a little planning. Make sure that you also explore all your legal options as well, especially if your spouse becomes a nuisance at your place of business.

Source: Communities Digital News, "The Cost of Divorce To Your Business," Myra Fleischer, accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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