This article is the third and final entry into my food intolerance at work series that deals with issues such as gluten and dairy intolerance symptoms and discussions and how to handle them at work. You can check out my first instalment which deals with social aspects of food intolerance including at work. The second instalment deals with workplace anxiety and when to talk to your boss about your condition. This article focuses on how attempts to survive the work environment can go bad and when to pull the plug, as well as what to do if you find yourself unemployed.
The key factors in deciding if you should stay or if you should go revolve around whether your job is still fulfilling in spite of any symptoms you may be suffering from which interfere with you having a smooth work experience. The other part of that is whether you feel a growing desire to escape or exit your position, and how you are handling those feelings. Ideally you want to avoid the two meltdown situations where you either suddenly quit when you basically cannot take it anymore, or you get fired due to perceived incompetence or absenteeism.
I believe that having a frank discussion with your management about your conditions if there are any food intolerance symptoms that you feel are at risk of interfering with the ability to do your job or your job fulfillment, is usually the best option. Even if the conversation does not go as well as you had hoped, then you may well have a clearer appreciation of what you want work-wise.
I want to cover some practical matters that are important for efficient performance. You really want to take a close look at your life to eliminate any cheating in your diet. You should do everything you can to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. You will be happy you did. Also, make absolutely sure you always have enough safe food with you for working hours. Do not leave yourself meal-less or forced to cheat and suffer by eating out. I always make enough lunches for the week and freeze them. Bring snacks, too. This step will make a huge difference in your energy and symptom levels if you were not taking care of it before. Essentially, you want to look at what you can do to reduce anxiety and increase energy at work before you just drop a bombshell and walk off the job, for example.
Ultimately, you may decide to quit if your job environment is not suitable in the long-term for your condition and your employer is not interested in accommodating you with workspace adjustments or telecommuting options. You want your employment changes to be on your terms, though. You do not want them to be reactions. Plan it out. Think long and hard about long-term self-employment options, for example. Research companies that can accommodate your needs. Sometimes you have to think out of the box to get what will really help you, but you will usually be better off when you do!