Firstly, tell your boss what you’re dealing with. Do this in a brief and matter-of-fact way. Ask for a few days off. Deal with any urgent matters that won’t wait until your return to office. If you think you might get overly emotional, write a formal email or letter.
Communicate very clearly with your boss about what he or she can and can’t count on from you. Give deadlines and try your best to stick to them. However, if it looks like you are struggling to meet a deadline, communicate with your boss immediately and recommit to what is possible.
Watch your work hours. Your colleagues and boss will be looking to see if you are working less hours, therefore, unless you have permission to work less, work the full allotted time you are hired to work. If you arrive late, communicate immediately that you are going to be late AND ensure you work later to make up the time.
If you are taking time off and have close relationships with clients, I wouldn’t recommend telling them about your divorce. Simply mention you are taking some time off and their contact person whilst you are away is [insert name.]
If you have the option to work from home, do so. It’s easier to maintain professional etiquette via email and remotely than to be around the colleagues and people you work with every day when you’re dealing with raw emotions.
Inform the accounts department as soon as possible about your pending divorce as your tax code may change. If you feel nervous about calling and aren’t feeling organized, prepare a list of things to communicate and email this through. Ensure that you include your current tax code in the email.
Stay tuned for part III…
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