When You Need Help at Work

Unfortunately, it happens to most of us. A personal crisis impacts us at work – our ability to focus and our ability to do quality work.  We don’t quite know what to do about it. We know this Does it make sense to ask for help or should we try to hide it and muddle through?


We all want to protect our privacy at work but if you find yourself in a personal situation, talk with your manager first. You don’t have to share everything but you should feel comfortable in letting your manager know that you have a personal issue that may require you to be gone from the workplace and also take your focus away from work even when you’re there. 


Hopefully, you’ve been a dependable employee who does good work so that you’ve built up a reserve of good will with your manager. I had a manager who said it’s like a bank account. You deposit money and then, when you need it, you can withdraw it.  Work, he said is the same—you do good work and contribute to the organization’s success and then, if you need time off or whatever, you’ve built up a reserve to draw upon.


Be clear about what you will need. It may be you need to work from home a day or two a week or some assistance with a deliverable with a tight deadline. Let your manager know what you think will be the most helpful and work it out so that the work gets done especially if you need to be away from work.


Do the same thing with trusted colleagues—you don’t have to share all the details but if you need help on a project, ask for it and of course, let your colleagues know how much you appreciate their support and that when you’re back to full capacity at work, you will be there for them. And support them if they need your help at some time!


Yes, we’re employees but we’re also human beings who need help from time to time.

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