How to Keep a Career-Oriented Attitude When Facing Difficulties in Your Life

At any point in life, people face challenges that can be confusing and overwhelming. Sometimes these issues —whether it be a personal illness, the aging of a parent, a divorce or any of the many other difficulties people face – can be an enormous distraction from our work, causing us to under-perform and leading company leadership wondering if we are up to the expected tasks. Despite the various bumps that life throws your way, it’s important to maintain a level of focus on your career so that, once you’re bounced back from your personal issues, your professional life will be intact.

Stay Positive

The “unknown” can be scary. Your mental attitude can either be a help, or a hindrance. Remind yourself – often – of your strengths, your performance at work and what your co-workers think of you. Tell yourself that you are the best person for the job, and that you can tackle anything that comes your way. Professional coach Marc Chernoff writes that your mindset is half the battle. You may be experiencing pain or bitterness, but by reminding yourself that your accomplishments at work are valued and recognized, you’ll stay more alert and focused on your job responsibilities.

Find Your Inspiration

Perhaps it’s your own children that look up to you, or maybe it’s a particular business partner you admire. Discover your motivation for moving forward to the best of your ability. The founder of the Millennium Dance Company underwent two kidney transplants while establishing her school, but she stayed focused on the needs of her students and actually choreographed her signature dance during that time.

Confide in Others

This isn’t the time to keep your problems close to your vest. It might be necessary to let others on your team and your supervisor know what’s going on with you. If you do slip up a bit, they will be far more understanding about picking up the slack. It’s perfectly fine to ask them not to share your personal information, and don’t feel that it’s essential to give them all the details or even more than the occasional update.

Time Heals

As the saying goes, “Everything is okay in the end.” How long it may take for you to actually be okay will vary, depending on what you’re going through. If your feelings about your personal challenge start to overwhelm you when you’re at work, take a break. Perhaps you can walk around the block, or close your door for a little peace and quiet, but acknowledge, when you need to, that you need to regroup. Your workload may be heavy, but you aren’t going to deliver your very best product unless you admit to yourself that you need a few minutes of downtime every now and then.

Make A Schedule

According to business coach Andrew Jensen, you should prioritize your schedule, make a plan and stick to it. This could include taking a little time off, or adjusting your work hours so your co-workers know when to expect you. Plan and schedule the tasks you need to get done every day, and cross them off your list once they are complete. Finalizing an important duty will give you satisfaction and help to keep your mind at work, rather than on the personal issue that’s plaguing you. Make sure to leave a few unscheduled minutes in every day for short breaks or to make personal phone calls, if necessary.

Plan Some Downtime

Home may not be the first place you want to be immediately after work, so plan a few evenings out with friends. On the weekends, get some fresh air and exercise, or volunteer for a favorite pet cause to help you feel more meaningful. You can also take a little time off for the winter holidays to spend your time with the family. But remember, a new year is approaching and you should plan the new year. One easy thing you can do is to print a January calendar and write down every goal you want to achieve.

We all go through struggles, some much larger than others. During these times, we can become distracted and temporarily lose our way. In truth, if we stray too far, it can be hard to find our way back. But if you’ve worked hard for a career that is meaningful to you, it’s important to keep an eye on your job, even in your darkest hours.

Thanks to Sean Blaney

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