How often does the thought “my job is making me depressed” run through your head?
If you read Part 1 of the Dream Job Series, you may have tested your feelings about your job against the 15 signs your job is making you miserable and found more in common than you wanted. (If you haven’t read that, view it now and come back to this post.)
Some people messaged me saying they had 5, 7, and even 13 out of 15 signs of misery from their current job. That’s when you know you need to start looking and preparing for another job.
Where the previously mentioned first post described the symptoms of working at a job that you strongly dislike, this one is going to cover the problematic consequences.
As you’ll see below, working at the wrong job can create a cascade of problems in all areas of your life.
Which proves it’s a lie that your professional and personal life are separate. The emotions, thoughts, and feelings from your job quickly transfer into your personal life, and vice versa.
Contrary to what you may wish, you’re not a robot with an on and off switch for when you get home.
And that’s why I believe working at the wrong job is damaging to your soul. Because you can’t get the precious time and energy back that you wasted on something that takes so much from you.
The bottom line is working at the wrong job does more damage than just tough days at work. It hits you where it hurts the most: with your family, before you sleep, and at all hours of the day.
Let’s look at the specific areas that are negatively affected by this job nightmare. (Hint: None of them should be taken lightly.)
Ways Your Job Is Making You Depressed
A difficult job is powerful enough to turn some of the happiest people cranky.
So if your job causes you to be irritable around all your coworkers, friends, and family, which is common, that’s going to damage these relationships over time.
You may take out your anger and frustration on the people closest to you, even though your work situation is completely not their fault.
Or if you’re at a job that requires you to be at the office for almost all of your waking hours, your relationships can fall apart for a simple lack of quality time spent together.
Soon your significant other or best friend feels like they don’t know you, and you don’t stay as close in touch with them as you would like.
Relationships tend to get ignored during stressful seasons. And that only adds to the feelings of loneliness and depression for the guy or girl at the wrong job.
Working a miserable job drains people’s willpower and motivation throughout the day.
Depleted motivation levels most often mean your health is suffering along the way.
For example, McDonald’s drive thru is a whole lot more appealing after a long day of work when you’re tired and don’t feel like cooking. And you tell yourself you need some enjoyment in the day, so food it is.
Or if you’re mentally drained, the odds of you going to the gym are significantly lower than if you enjoyed your day of work. It already takes all of your effort on a good day to exercise, so forget about it when work has you down.
Because of your depressed mood from work, bad habits can start to form in the shape of stress eating, little to no exercise, poor sleep, and abusing alcohol or other drugs to take the pain away and escape reality.
Your quality of life is directly tied to your health, and a bad job interferes with your health.
For better or for worse, people attach a large part of their identity to their job. And it makes sense. Here’s why.
Most people spent four years of college doing work in that field. Each time they were asked, “What do you study?” or, “What’s your major?” they associated a small piece of themselves with that field.
And think about this: How many times do you meet someone new and they ask, “So what do you do?” That question comes more than any other question in my life.
Plus, if you hate your job, that’s a jab to your side every time people talk and ask you about work.
So it’s one crappy situation when you don’t enjoy work you’re spending 40 hours or more a week doing. The pain gets multiplied when part of your identity is attached to your job.
Then you may start doubting yourself and your direction. You may question if you’re cut out for this job, if you’re not good enough, if you’re in the wrong job, at the wrong company, or in the wrong field.
Piles of self-doubt and discouragement cloud your mind. In the process, you may suffer an identity crisis.
I truly believe that people who are the most passionate about their work are going to do their best work over a continued duration. And this is going to provide the most value in the marketplace, which will have the biggest financial payoff for the individual.
Because it takes passion in the work to work so many hours to develop your skill. That’s how Oprah got rich—insane hours of work that didn’t feel like work.
Follow me? You’re not going to reach your financial potential when you’re doing something you don’t like. Because you won’t put the work into it to get all that you can out of it.
Eventually, no matter how strong your will power, your lack of commitment to the job will show in your performance.
And only a few things can happen when your performance suffers: You don’t move up in the company, you miss out on opportunities, or you get fired. All three scenarios do a number on your bank account balance.
The fact you spend all day doing something you don’t want to do—or as a byproduct of all these negative consequences—can steal the joy right out of you that you once had for life.
Life is all about the pursuit of happiness. But a terrible job is a big giant roadblock of that pursuit.
A bad job is ugly, cruel, and impossible in your mind.
For example, say can’t enjoy vacation because you’re dreading the Monday you get back.
Or you can’t be intentional with your family at the dinner table because you keep replaying the awful day you had at work.
Or you feel so tired after work that you sit on the couch and watch tv in a depressed state all night, night after night.
That happens to millions of people.
Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to enjoy their job and get paid to do it (and they can).
But they’re pissed off because they are stuck at a job that’s stealing their happiness.
A Solution Is Coming Soon
I’m all about being positive (that’s why I did this 7 Day Positive Challenge). And one of my goals is to shower you with positivity and encouragement—two key ingredients for success.
So I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy to write these past two articles on the negatives of working somewhere that’s not right for you.
However, I’ve found that awareness is step one in making a big life change like switching jobs.
And people who are more aware of the poison in doing work that doesn’t align with what they desire, are more willing to take a step forward in finding work that’s perfect for them.
However, if you’re down about your job and future career, hang in there for now. Don’t get too upset.
Next Monday, I have exactly what you need to solve this problem and get your dream job.
You’re soon going to be just as pumped as I am. I can’t wait!
This is Part 2 of the Dream Job Series.