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Separating Personal Life and Job

Do you know a co-worker whose personal problems are constantly interfering with their job? Do you let your personal problems interfere with your job?

Accepting employment is making a contract. The employer's part of the contract is to provide salary or hourly pay, plus benefits. The employer's job is to run the company responsibly. Your job is to manage your life responsibly. Your part of the employment contract is to arrive at work every scheduled workday, on time, and ready to focus on your work.

Personal problems that can interfere with work:

• Relationships: Spouse and/or relatives making too many demands on your time and energy.
• Money management: Poor money management habits that cause you to get evicted from your home, leave you with insufficient funds for transportation to work, or even result in bankruptcy.
• Health habits: Alcohol or drug abuse, activities or sports that involve unnecessary risk, resulting in injury.
• Car problems: Failure to perform regularly scheduled maintenance, resulting in a breakdown.
• Life management: Things like pets or legal problems taking time away from work.

Do you fail to manage your life or have a lifestyle that creates a steady stream of personal problems that interfere with your job? Your employer did not adopt you as their child. Your personal life is not your employer's responsibility. If you have personal problems, it's your responsibility to seek the necessary help.

Note: Managers and supervisors should never become personally involved in an employee's personal problem. If an employee's personal problem affects their job performance, the manager or supervisor should refer the employee to the company's Employee Assistance Program.

How Personal problems affect work:

• Absenteeism
• Tardiness
• Poor performance
• Errors in work
• Lost productivity

Activities outside of work, such as moonlighting or too much nightlife, can cause difficulty focusing on work. It's your responsibility to manage your life outside of work so that you have the alertness and energy to do the best job possible.

Personal problems are a normal part of life:

• Childbirth
• Child care
• Death in family
• Divorce
• Home purchase
• Home maintenance
• Sickness

Some personal problems are a normal part of life, but you should still take action to minimize the impact of these problems on your job.

• Notify your supervisor or manager as soon as possible about the need for time off.
• Check company policy for normal procedure relating to this type of event
• Make sure the amount of time you take off is within your accumulated vacation time or personal time off
• Keep a reserve of vacation time or personal time off "in the bank" to cover any possible emergencies
• Minimize the amount of time you take off to deal with the event
• Try to coordinate activities to minimize interference with your responsibilities

Success at work requires that you minimize the interference of personal problems with your job. Your part of the employment contract is to arrive at work every scheduled workday, on time, and ready to focus on your work. To do that, you need to manage your life responsibly. Some personal problems are a normal part of life. Take the steps listed above to minimize the impact of these problems on your job.

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