CPD tips - How to set work 'boundaries'

CPD tips - How to set work 'boundaries'

31 May 2022

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Much like when you enter any new commitment in your life, you set boundaries; this is the same for professional ones. These can be both physical and emotional, but they help you establish limits between yourself and someone or something.

How to set work 'boundaries'

Boundaries allow you to be accountable for your actions and ensure you’re aware and happy with the decisions that you’re making, as you’ve already pre-agreed with yourself your limitations and space. They help you take care of yourself and feel in control of the situation and the remits you’ve given it.

However, work boundaries can be challenging at a new job because we feel pressure to conform and follow the same structure used for many years. We also feel pressure to act similar way to our colleagues to ensure we fit in with the team.

Many of us have been thrown into a situation over the last couple of years where we’ve been forced to work from home and re-evaluate our typical working day/life. This has allowed us to reset our minds, evaluate our current boundaries and potentially put new ones in place - ones that we’re happy with and that support our need for work-life balance.

This same mindset should be used when beginning a new job.

Why should you set boundaries from the beginning?

Although starting a new job with a set of requirements may feel odd, it’s actually incredibly ok. Setting boundaries from the beginning helps you to start on the right foot and give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in your new role because you’re managing expectations from the beginning.

It also allows your employer to understand what’s important to you and what works for you to support your work-life balance.

Tips on how to set boundaries

The boundaries themselves depend entirely on what’s important to you and what you need to take care of yourself and remain happy. Any employer should respect that if you’re making a decision based on the well-being of your mental health, then it’s a valid one to make. When setting these boundaries, we’d suggest noting down anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or learnings from a previous role that you know have made you unhappy.

It may be that hybrid working is important to you. It may be managing the team's expectations for not being able to socialise every night of the week, or it may be that you’re consistently strict with yourself about not working past 5pm.

Everyone’s boundaries will be completely different, so think about what’s important to you and what solution you need to ensure this remains constant. In terms of setting the boundaries, we’d recommend having a chat with your employer in the first couple of weeks to discuss your limits and why they’re important to you. Explaining why will help your employer understand where this requirement is coming from. It will also help them put things in place to ensure that your boundaries are respected.

To learn more about professional boundaries and how to communicate these in a working environment effectively, we host numerous courses on behalf of our members within the CPD Courses Catalogue that can assist you further.

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the largest and leading independent Continuing Professional Development accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. We hope this article was helpful. If you are looking to become a CPD Provider, please contact our team to discuss your requirements in more detail. Alternatively if you are looking to record your CPD, please go the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.

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