Every working parent juggles a variety of responsibilities both at home and at the office. For someone who is raising a child with special needs, however, the balancing act can be especially difficult. Just getting out the door in the morning may involve a great deal of time, planning, and patience. If the child is having a particularly bad day, focusing on work can be challenging – some parents cringe every time the phone rings, wondering if they are being summoned to deal with a problem.
Being on time for a scheduled meeting demonstrates professionalism and respect for other people, so one might expect bosses to be particularly diligent in order to set a positive example. Some supervisors, however, have a tendency to routinely show up late, and since it probably wouldn’t be wise to chew the person out for his behavior, participants usually just exchange secret glances and seethe silently about wasted time.
From the lingering scent of a heavily perfumed co-worker to your cubicle neighbor’s pungent lunch, the workplace can be filled with a variety of distracting smells. While it can be difficult to bring up the matter with offenders, start by setting a good example and examining ways you might be contributing to the office’s atmosphere.
Just because you have a good relationship with your boss during working hours doesn’t necessarily mean you should consider expanding this friendship into after-hours socialization. Power dynamics can make these relationships tricky, and being tight with the boss may make others wonder if you get special treatment. Likewise, seeing sides of you beyond your work persona could open doors to judgments and affect your professional reputation.
Feel uncertain about what to do when a co-worker experiences a loss? You’re not alone. Many people get flustered when trying to offer condolences. Experts note, however, that there isn’t just one “right” way to demonstrate your concern. Any sincere gesture will likely be appreciated.
Talking about family life can be a great way for colleagues to get to know one another on a more personal level. Watch, however, that your parental instincts don’t lead you to become one of these annoying office types:
Being a proud mom is one thing; boring your cubicle neighbors with an inning by inning recap of your son’s Little League triumph is another. Stick to the most important details of the most important events, and jot the rest in a scrapbook.
For some people, dogs are not only great companions and stress relievers – they are a vital component for assistance and independence. To honor these special canines and raise public awareness of their importance to people with disabilities, August 4-10 has been designated as International Assistance Dog Week.
Does your audience seem to be examining the office carpet or trying to sneak a peek at the clock when you are chatting around the water cooler? Shed the reputation as the office bore by trying these strategies:
Get to the point.
Co-workers do not have all day, and younger colleagues accustomed to communicating by text are especially eager to hear only what they need to know. Rambling stories make listeners start going over their to-do lists in their head while they wait politely for you to finish.
Ever feel like you’re the “kid sister” in the office – a person others like but don’t always take seriously? Being perceived as too young can make it difficult to perform your duties with authority and may jeopardize chances for promotion. If you’re ready to cultivate a more mature presence, consider the following changes:
Have a colleague who is sure that every little bump, bruise, headache, or cough is a sign of a much bigger problem? While it can be annoying to continually hear about someone’s health issues and try to reassure that everything is probably fine, it pays to remember that hypochondria is an officially recognized psychological condition. According to this article, it is estimated that one of twenty Americans who visit doctors suffer from the disorder.