Family in Puerto Rico? Don’t expect to be 100%

Q:  I am not 100% at work because my mother, father, aunts and uncles are in Puerto Rico.  My work is highly detailed and I am afraid that I am going to screw up.  What can I do?  

A:  Be kind to yourself, be patient and above all don’t expect to be 100%.  As you know, I usually ask questions and rarely give advice. However, during stressful times, it is easy to lose your way and get your priorities mixed up.  So, here is my advice:  there are two things to attend to first: yourself and your loved ones.  Remember you can’t help your family if you don’t have peace of mind, your health and financial well-being.

Now is the time to turn to your manager, colleagues and friends:

  • Do they know that your family is in Puerto Rico? If they do, have you provided specific information—no sugar coating—so that they can appreciate why you are concerned?
  • To be at your best, do you need to take time off? How much time—don’t squeeze or underestimate, OK?  If you are making travel arrangements, be sure to add time and expect delays and inconveniences.
  • Who is your back-up at work? Remember that when you successfully hand over a project to a colleague it demonstrates your management capability while providing a developmental opportunity for the other person.  

I know that the hurricanes hit your island weeks ago.  Unfortunately, it will take years to recover from the devastating impact to not only Puerto Rico but to United States Virgin Islands as well.  Prepare for the long haul and don’t expect to be 100% every day. 

Remember? Take care of yourself and your loved ones first!  And, remember that we will not forget about your beautiful homeland.  

Now, be kind and carry on. 

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