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Social media has blurred certain lines. How can something public also be private? Clearly, given that you stumbled on their video, it can’t, but you can continue respecting their privacy, nonetheless. Most of us have struggles we don’t share with our employers that are not a reflection on our employers. Trust that this is in that category. And do stay open to being supportive and accommodating of their neurodivergence if and when they call on you. Keep fostering a positive, empathetic professional environment. You’re doing great.
Ambitious But Tired
I’ve been at my current job for five years. It’s been an incredible experience, and I’m sincerely grateful to be here. I’ve been central in building a start-up and my career has grown substantially. I like my boss and I have a great relationship with my team. On paper, I’m in the best position at the best job I could ask for.
The issue is I feel like I’ve been running a marathon and only just found the start line. I’m tired. We’re entering a high growth stage and need to be firing on all cylinders. I can’t find the energy I used to have. I don’t want to leave my job, but I also know I need to get my focus and excitement back if I’m going to succeed. I’m stuck and wondering what my next steps should be.
The bittersweet truth about success is that it demands a lot of energy to maintain and achieve ever more. You have been running a marathon and I’m not sure the marathon ever ends. With each accomplishment, you’ll find new ambitions to pursue. More will be asked of you. The thing about marathons is that you need the strength and energy to go to the distance, which is to say you have to pace yourself. You have to sustain yourself physically and emotionally. As you forge ahead to the next mile marker, so to speak, what about your work will bring you the focus and excitement you seek? How can you prioritize that?
In my experience, the best way to avoid or mitigate burnout is balance. What that looks like is very individual. But your career cannot be the whole of your life. You shouldn’t compromise your emotional or physical well-being for your work. Establish clear, realistic boundaries, primarily for yourself. Value personal time as much as you value your professional endeavors. Have interests completely unrelated to work. You can have a life and a thriving career. At least, that’s what I hope as I navigate similar territory.
Way Too Many Olive Branches
I am co-owner of a small company. My partner works closely with one individual on his special projects. Over the past couple years there have been complaints that this employee was drinking at work and made inappropriate comments. Our published policy is zero tolerance for substance abuse, but because of my partner’s relationship with this individual, he was given three chances to seek help and resolve his issue. He was recorded as drinking at work and was inebriated two additional times, so he was fired.
My partner does not want to work with anyone else or have to train existing employees, so I agreed the employee could come back to work with a signed contract that he would adhere to certain conditions. The employee signed the document but has not complied with any of the requirements. After five months I discontinued his health insurance and considered the issue closed.
My partner has come back to me insisting the employee be brought back to work on his projects. Suggestions to hire the employee outside of work as a subcontractor were rejected by my partner, as were several other alternatives that both myself and the staff have offered. Current employees have expressed interest in taking on these projects and are anxious to step in and help. My partner will have none of it, saying he does not have the time or interest in scheduling his projects with others.
The employee cannot return. It is dangerous to have one standard for everyone at work and another for one employee. We have great people working for us. If my partner really wanted the employee’s assistance over others’ he could make the effort to find a solution. I am the only one making concessions.
You have a partnership problem, not a work problem. You’ve already done everything you should do professionally, and you have been more than fair. Your partner needs to grow up and be as responsible an employer as you are. Losing a preferred colleague is unfortunate but the fired employee made repeated mistakes, chose not to remedy the situation despite the ample support you offered, and faced consequences for their choices.
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