Taking a Sick Day
Congratulations! You’re enjoying a new position with a company that you love, you’re picking up on everything quickly and your boss is extremely impressed by you. Fast forward to the gruesome scene that is now your bathroom, with an image of you hugging the toilet bowl. If you started a new job this flu season, it’s not unlikely that you’re in this situation. According to Time, “More than 60,000 samples testing positive for influenza [in the United States] have been reported since monitoring for the virus began on Oct.1”. Your head is probably swirling with anxiety, complete with thoughts like: “What do I do?” “Am I going to lose my job?” “Do I even have PTO?” “What will my new manager and coworkers think of me if I call in?”
Stay calm! Just like this illness, the stress of the situation will be over soon. Omni One suggests the following steps when coming down with a sickness in your first few months of work:
- Assess the Situation: The last place you want to be when you’re sick is your desk. Assess yourself and how you feel. Would you be miserable going into the office today? When you wake up and can’t get out of bed, it’s safe to say that staying home would be a smart option. Would you be able to focus all day at work? Sometimes it’s more effective to stay home and protect your co-workers from getting sick or listening to you mope all day.
- Make the Call: Let your manager know as soon as possible that you will not be going into the office. Sometimes this is the most frightening part, because you are feeling anxious about his or her response. Keep it simple -no one wants to hear the dirty details of your sickness. Be confident -you don’t want to be thought of as untrustworthy. Let your employer know if you are unable to answer messages or if you will be able to be reached during the day.
- Be Proactive: If you are unable to work from home, reach out and ask someone from the office to help you out for the day so that you don’t fall behind on any deadlines. If you can work from home, be as efficient as possible. Be sure not to overdo it and unintentionally extend your recovery time.
- Take Care of Yourself: This is the most important step. Going to work when you are not okay can be worse than making the decision to stay home. Take care of yourself before taking care of your work. Everyone is human and has under-the-weather days, including your boss.