Double Jeopardy - Protecting Your Career During Separation & Divorce
You believed your marriage would outlast your career, but now must so carefully manage your career to transition yourself beyond the marriage, through separation and divorce.
You believed your marriage would outlast your career, but now must so carefully manage your career while transitioning through separation and divorce. The fog and fatigue of breaking up, and all that goes with it, either results in overthinking whether to “let work know”, or acting in haste and blurting out your news to get it out of the way.
Frankly, harm is not typically caused by choosing to “let work know” or not; it is the lack of follow-up plan that exposes your employment to the same fate as the marriage. So, what can you do to protect end-of-marriage from becoming end-of-job (and worse, beginning of job search)? Before answering that, let’s define the motivation/risk:
The average cost of getting divorced varies from state to state, the majority have averages hovering above $10,000.
Surveyed Canadian lawyers reported charging an average of $1,770 in total fees for uncontested divorce cases and $15,300 for contested divorce cases.
The choice you are about to make, to disclose or not, is paired with a behavioral commitment. That behavioral commitment can be key to i) continuity of employment; and, ii) performance-based bonuses — both of which can help offset the associated costs of divorce.
Here are your four options when considering disclosing separation and divorce at work:
This is a commitment to maintaining the demeanor / tone / behaviors and quality of work that you are typically known for so not to raise suspicion that something is terribly wrong away from work.
This is a commitment to the firmest of boundaries that occurs when your separation and divorce is discovered but not disclosed. Further to maintaining the demeanor / tone / behaviors and quality of work that you are typically known for, you do not disclose any details of your separation and divorce, perhaps not even the status, to any colleague.
A partial disclosure at work suggests that separation and divorce will remain secret from an individual or group at work; therefore, this strategy also demands a commitment to maintaining the demeanor / tone / behaviors and quality of work that you are typically known for. Furthermore, you trust the party you are disclosing to, and that the disclosure will be held in confidence.
Most often, when full disclosure occurs, it is an unintended result of being overwhelmed and a sign that perhaps you lack external support. Few people strategically choose the full disclosure option. The key considerations in this section reflect some of the issues or experiences that have arisen for people that fully disclosed without much thought.
Like any plan, managing your career during separation and divorce never unfolds 100% as planned. Hopefully the considerations above support you to strategically choose a course of action, more aware of what may follow. Separation and divorce may in fact be the lowest point of your life yet require you to be most deliberate, gracious, and prepared in order to protect your career from harm, by you.
Seek and engage the necessary supports in effort to sustain income continuity and maximize potential performance bonuses so that beyond marriage you can have the healthiest career possible.
Seeking separation and divorce support for yourself or staff? Click the link below:
Technologies that support designers, architects, and builders to create innovative and more sustainable structures.
What is humanity’s impact on the planet and how consciously and inadvertently have we caused the demise of many species?
We are entering a world in which we will need to become better at fighting what we can't see.