What's your Problem?

Personal issues are threatening my job...

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Q: My job is not usually particularly demanding, and because I work in the third sector, there isn't a culture of long working hours. I am, however, working on a major project that is testing me.

The problem is that I'm also under considerable pressure because of a family matter that is only going to get worse. It's now affecting my job because I just can't keep focused and just don't care about it right now.

I confide in my partner but I want to try and sort myself out. Do you think counselling is the answer?

A: Before you do anything else, you must talk in confidence to your line manager. Some of the stress that you're feeling undoubtedly springs from a fear that your lack of focus at work will soon be noted and commented on. Please don't wait for that to happen. There's no shame involved; family problems affect almost everyone at some point in their working lives and I'm sure you'll get a sympathetic hearing.

See how much that helps before seeking further counselling.

- Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office? is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@managementtoday.com. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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