I Cried at Work. Now What?

What happens when you’re so overworked at the office, you cry at work? Worse yet, what should you do if you begin crying in front of your boss? Can you regain composure?

Let’s face it, waterworks can happen when you’re under pressure and against a deadline. And while it’s not ideal, it’s more common that some people may realize. In fact, a 2011 study of 700 Americans found that 41 percent of women and 9 percent of men at all levels of management cried at work at some point during their careers.

So what can you do when it happens to you? Ask a Manager’s Allison Green was recently asked this question and offered some advice:

Lots of people have cried at work, especially when they’re under a lot of strain. It’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. If you generally conduct yourself well and don’t normally collapse under pressure, a good manager isn’t going to see this one instance as indicating you can’t handle your job or not equipped for leadership. You are human! You had a human moment. I’m not encouraging crying at work — in general it’s good to avoid it — but it’s really not a disaster.

Read the rest of this answer, and much more, at Ask A Manager.


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