Don’t let your family life affect your job performance


Submitted by Rich Von Voigt
Riverhead, New York

When you leave your home to report for duty it is important to your health and safety to have a clear head and light heart. It is important to leave the pressure of family life at home as you leave for work.

In many cases that is easier said than done. How do you forget about the bills that need to be paid or the sick child or maybe the fight you had with your spouse over family matters? How do we deal with this kind of pressure and deal with the pressure that comes from the job?

If you are already wired because you have trouble at home, who will receive the brunt of that anger when you get to work? When home life affects your work, you won’t think clearly when you arrive for the start of your tour. You may find yourself so overburdened with grief for a loved one that it will hurt your performance and may cause you to lose control of a scene it may even get you hurt or killed.

What are the answers to this kind of pressure?

Here are a few you might consider.

Always try to leave for work with a clear head. Remember that the bills can and will get paid — companies will work with you, so call them talk about alternate payment plans ask for help within your family.

Kiss your spouse and children before you leave tell them you love them.

Try to avoid a heated argument with your spouse before your tour — nothing good ever comes out of a fight before work.

Be careful of what you say before you leave for work, it may be the last thing they ever hear from you.

If the problem is ongoing and the solution seems unreachable, then it’s time to seek help. Talk with someone — a friend, family member, or seek professional help.

Never let something fester so bad and so deep that you take it out on the people you work with or the public you serve because you can't fix it at home.

Problems at home can be many from an unhappy marriage to a sick family member spouse or child to problems with the in laws. Whatever the situation seek help and don't let that pressure ride shotgun with you on your tour.

Your life may depend on your head and heart and gut being clear of personal stress.

I’m an old street cop — I put in 30 years on the force, and coming up on 34 years of marriage during which we raised three great kids. I know a little something about this stuff. My two sons are on the job now so this advice is being shared with them as well as all members of the police one family.

Be smart, be safe, be tactical, be happy, and be professional.

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