You are a Drain on the HR Department: The Power of Personal Finance on Career Success

The Financially Fierce Blog

I had a client who was horrible at managing her finances.  She spent more than she made. She didn’t pay her bills on time. She barely opened her mail. Her view was she was entitled to spend her money on whatever she wanted and was entitled to it now.

Eventually this bubble of hers blew up.  Her credit cards were maxed out. Her bank account was empty. And she had a job that didn’t pay any overtime.

Her bills piled up. Collection agencies were calling her at home and at work. Most people at this point would start trying to find a way to cut their expenses or find a part time/second job to bring in some more money. Not her. Her solution: She started treating her job like an ATM.

She went into human resources and started requesting advances on her paycheck. When she could no longer do that, she began taking out money from her 401k. Eventually that option ran out too.

She fell farther and farther behind. Her creditors began suing her and obtaining judgments against her. Now the creditors were contacting human resources to garnish her paycheck.

She became a big drain on human resources. The amount of extra work she generated for them was noticed. And human resources was unhappy about it. They began to take a closer look at her work performance. Discussions with her manager came next. She was now on their radar and not for a good reason.

She was passed over for promotions. Her salary increases started to become non-existent. And her manager’s trust in her dwindled.

How much longer do you think she kept her job?

When you let your finances fall off a cliff, it has consequences beyond those you see right in front of you. The domino effect can be far and wide. I’m sure she never imagined that her financial problems would ultimately cause her productivity to decrease so dramatically at work. I doubt she thought that she would become such a burden to human resources. And I’m sure she didn’t fathom that her manager and human resources would start planning for her exit from the company.

I’m going to keep saying it until it sinks in. Your personal financial problems have an impact on your career. Your earning potential is affected by your job performance.  When you are distracted by financial issues, your productivity takes a significant hit.  When are you going to make positive changes to your finances in order to help your career and ultimately your family?

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