Most of your waking hours are spent at work. It’s the place where you are most likely to make friends, where you meet new people and are introduced to new ideas. It should also be the place where you can get help with debt and debt solutions.
When we feel overwhelmed by money concerns, it can be almost impossible to even think about help, let alone getting it. It is easy to get stuck in a loop of thoughts that go round and round, and usually asks only one question: how am I going to get out of this debt?
One place where there can be solutions to your money problems is your workplace. You spend so much of your time there, that it is worth looking into the resources available to you to help you deal with your financial problems and their consequences.
Let us look at some options.
Many, if not most, companies these days have some form of employee assistance programme in place. It is common for such programmes to be outsourced to external specialist service providers that bring together a variety of experts to help employees deal with a variety of issues. These include mental and physical health, financial concerns, and even legal matters. There is usually a number of ways in which employees can access these services, either by calling a toll-free number, sending an email, or visiting an on-site office. Your interactions with the service providers are confidential, which means you can be open and honest about the help you need.
The great benefit of an employee assistance programme, is that it gives you access to professionals who can help you. For example, therapists can help you deal with stress and worry, which will help you think more clearly about what to do. Financial advisors can help you with financial planning, drawing up a budget, and managing your cash flow better.
There are even workplace financial wellness programmes where consultants can help you negotiate with your credit providers, deal with debt review, and consolidate your debt into a single, more affordable loan.
The important thing is that you take the first step: find out what resources are available and make use of them.
- Ask for permission to take a second job. Most companies do not allow their employees to do outside work. However, you will never know what is possible if you don’t ask. Discuss the matter with your manager, and explain why you need to earn more money. There might even be opportunities inside your company to take on more and different responsibilities that will boost your salary. If not, you and your manager might be able to reach an agreement on you taking on an after-hours job, as long as it does not interfere with your ability to do your day job.
- Look into workplace loans or salary advances. Often employers are not very keen to give people advances on their salaries, but if you don’t ask you won’t know. The principle of discussing the issue openly and honestly with your manager applies here as well. You are likely to get a sympathetic hearing if you don’t make a habit of asking for an advance. You can also use the opportunity to ask for financial planning and budgeting advice from your manager, HR, or someone in the Finance department. In this way, you can empower yourself with new skills and knowledge so that you don’t end up in a debt problem again.
- Improve your skills with in-house training or further study assistance programmes. Companies pay more and more attention to developing the skills of their employees. Does your company have online training modules that you can access when you have time? Or does it offer practical workshops on different subjects? Or how about a scheme where you can study further? These are all opportunities to improve your skills and make yourself more valuable, which could result in a promotion or put you in line for a better (and better paying!) job at a different company.
- Learn from the people around you. If you have a colleague that brings the most delicious lunches to work, ask him or her to teach you about food. If you know someone who seems to be really good with money, ask her to share some secrets with you. If you are interested in a different line of work, see if you can arrange some on-job training. Again, these are opportunities to broaden your mind, and by learning something new you will take your mind off your money problems for a while.
Your workplace can be a treasure trove of opportunities to help you cope with financial difficulties. The options may not all be directly related to debt and debt solutions, but by asking for and getting help, you will certainly improve your mindset and your situation.