5 Warning Signs Your Job is Killing You
Do you hate your job?
Maybe you are at a point when you wonder if it’s time to move on.
It could be the job itself.
You find yourself hitting the snooze button more often and dreading the morning commute.
Just looking at your to-do list causes a headache.
You are either bored out of your mind with the same old routine or completely stressed out without enough time or energy to get everything done.
At the end of the day, you are physically worn-out and emotionally depleted.
When you first took the job, you thought it was exactly the kind of work you wanted to do. And for a while, it was great. You got comfortable, then as time went you got more and more uncomfortable.
Now, it just makes your stomach turn.
Or it might not be WHAT your are doing, but WHERE you are doing it, and WHO you are with.
Maybe you can’t stand looking at the same grey, windowless four walls each day, or listening to office gossip from your annoying co-workers.
It could be that your boss makes unreasonable demands without supporting you or recognizing your unique talents and potential.
You fantasize about your next vacation and you have called in sick more than once for a “mental health” day.
When Friday comes, you breathe a sigh of relief.
You know you can’t keep this up forever.
You have bills to pay and you don’t have anything else lined up — yet.
But how do you know for sure it’s time to leave?
Everyone has a little job stress from time to time, right? Nothing unusual.
It would be silly to just put in notice right out of the blue, wouldn’t it? Especially if you don’t have an exit plan.
But … how long have you been putting off making an exit plan?
And more importantly…
What kind of toll is the stress of this job taking on you?
Studies on workplace stress show the following:
•One-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. -Northwestern National Life
•Three-fourths of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. -Princeton Survey Research Associates
•Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor-more so than even financial problems or family problems. -St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co.
(Source: CDC Center for Disease Control)
When you have ongoing high levels of work-related stress, these can lead to emotional and physical problems that not only have an effect on your productivity at work but also have a huge impact on your entire life and overall well-being.
Chronic stress can lead to chronic and sometimes lethal health problems, such as the following:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Psychological disorders
- Chronic muscle pain and headaches
- Auto-immune disease
If things are getting worse, it is extremely important to take measures to reduce your stress at work. If you have already tried this and you believe that the work pressures or work environment itself are the primary causes for the stress, then it may be time to leave.
If you have stayed too long at a job that brings you more pain than joy, it’s time for an important reality check.
Things might be SO BAD that your job is literally killing you. If so, it’s time to leave.
Look for these five warning signs:
S – Stress
O – Overwhelm
B – Burnout
A – Anxiety
D – Depression
1. S = STRESS
You may find that stress-relieving techniques such as relaxation, mindfulness, and deep breathing help to relieve your stress. However, it could be that the work load and work environment make it nearly impossible to reduce your stress more than just temporarily. This is the first sign that it might be time to go.
2. O = OVERWHELM
When you feel like the work is just too much and you have lost your ability to stay on top of things, you may start to feel overwhelmed. If you find yourself becoming unproductive and easily frazzled, this is also an early sign that it may not be the best environment for you.
3. B= BURNOUT
After experiencing long periods of overwhelm, you may start giving up completely and letting things slide. You have lost motivation and don’t really care about doing a good job. This is a sign that you are burned out and either a long vacation or an exit plan is needed soon.
4. A= ANXIETY
If your periods of stress, overwhelm, and burnout have gone on for several weeks or months, you may find that anxiety is becoming a part of your daily life – both at work and at home. You are irritable, lack patience, and worried about things more than usual. You worry about your job performance or losing your job, and you are constantly on edge. This is often when physical signs and symptoms of stress-related health problems start to appear.
Chronic anxiety and the burden of workplace stress eventually takes its toll on your mental well-being and outlook on life. If you feel unproductive, unappreciated, and unhappy at work, this can lead to depression. Signs of depression include feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, anger or irritability, and sleep disturbances. Depression in some people can lead to self-loathing and thoughts of self-harm.
If you have determined that things are moving rapidly through these five stages – then you know it’s SO BAD and it’s time to make a plan to leave this job before it kills you.
Make an Exit Plan
If you know it’s time to go, take some time to figure out the best solution for your personal situation.
You may want to explore changing departments within the same organization, taking a similar job in another organization, or changing careers completely.
This may be the right time for you to take a good hard look at everything in your life right now — your job, your personal priorities, and how you are spending your time from day to day. Are you moving toward a specific goal, or just going with the flow and letting life happen “to” you?
This could be time for a big life and career change that could bring you so much more joy, contentment, and excitement. For some of you, it might even be a great time to start a new business venture or take time out to explore who you really are and what you really want to contribute to the world while you are here on Earth.
Don’t let things drag out, though, as you are putting your life, health, and happiness at risk.
No paycheck is worth your quality of life.
Bonnie Ware wrote in her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying that the #1 regret of the dying was this: “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself instead of living the life that others expected of me.”
Are you just paying bills until you die, or do you want to create a life that makes your heart sing?
If you feel stuck or lost and need help figuring out what to do next, it’s a good idea to talk to a trusted friend, counselor, or life and career change coach to develop a good course of action.
WingBuilder offers individual coaching and group programs to help you create a personal FLIGHT Plan for your life so that you can Launch your Excellence and Activate your Passion.
To get started, download the LEAP Action Guide today, or contact Sandi Lerman to schedule a complementary 30-minute discovery consultation.
And if you already love your life and career, please pass this article along to someone who needs it.
Who knows? You just might save someone’s LIFE!