How to Make it Through at Work While Dealing With a Tragedy

Tough things happen unexpectedly, but work is often a constant. You learn of an upsetting medical diagnosis, experience the loss of a loved one, or witness turmoil in your community. You may take some time off, but at some point you’re headed back to work.

Just over two months ago, our son died. It’s hard to express the depth of sadness my husband and I are feeling. But we both coped, in part, by throwing ourselves into our work.

Even when you work for supportive people (and institutions), your actions in the office still contribute to your overall professional reputation. Yes, you’d hope your boss would look past a missed deadline or a lack of concentration that’s totally out of character for you. But that doesn’t mean tardiness, or poor focus, or emotional responses are things you want to become known for. 

And while it’s strange to talk about how your response to tragedy could advance your career, that doesn’t make it any less true. When you continue to effectively manage yourself and your workload, you demonstrate grace under pressure.

Here are four ways to get through—and make a shining impression—while dealing with a personal crisis. 

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