Are you sick of your job — because you hate your boss, your co-workers, your commute, or you're bored, overworked, or stressed? You would certainly be in good company. Eighty percent of employees report that they are dissatisfied with their jobs.
You could spend your time becoming ever grumpier and more demotivated, telling yourself that your job still pays the bills, not everyone gets the luxury of making a living doing something intellectually and emotionally satisfying, and work is simply not meant to be fun. You could, but should you?
Keeping on working a job that you genuinely hate doesn't just suck, it's also bad for your health. Perhaps these science-backed health consequences of hating your job will convince you that you deserve to turn your life around and start searching for a job you do enjoy!
Hating Your Job Can Literally Make You Sick
The average Joe spends a whopping 90,000 hours of their life at work. It's hardly surprising, then, that constantly feeling bad at a place where you spend so much time has consequences for your physical health. When you find yourself in a constant state of dissatisfaction, the way in which your organism functions is altered negatively in numerous different ways.
Stressful jobs, one study of nurses concluded, are as bad for your health as smoking or never exercising. Hating your job increases your risk of hypertension and heart disease, and makes you more prone to pregnancy complications if you're a female of reproductive age.
That's not even the full extent of it, though: other research confirms that job-related stress even reduces your life expectancy, as well as that higher-income white-collar workers generally live longer than low-income blue-collar workers. This bit of data can only partially be explained by factors such as education, income, and health insurance status.
Twenty-five percent of employees report that their jobs represent their primary cause of stress, with 40 percent saying that work is "very or extremely stressful" to them. Because studies show that employees are much more willing to self-report stress, anxiety and depression than seek help for these conditions, we're not currently aware just how much work-related stress could be impacting workers' mental health.
Yet, figures provided by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) make it clear that employees know all too well that stress impacts their work performance, relationship with their co-workers and superiors, and personal life. In the worst case, your job from hell could land you with a diagnosis of depression or an anxiety disorder. If, that is, you seek help for your symptoms.
What A Job You Hate Does To Your Health
That Job You Hate Can Take Over Your Life And Relationship
Over three quarters of all people who report that stress affects their working day in a bad way also report that that stress doesn't stop when they go home, the ADAA shares. Are you in a marriage in which one partner spends just 10 hours a week more at work than the average person? Believe it or not, you're twice as likely to get divorced! Before you reach that breaking point where separating might be on the table, your sex life will suffer and you're more likely to argue with your spouse.
Having a stressful relationship, in turn, again impacts your physical health and life expectancy. You see where we're going with this: when a stressful job leads to a stressful relationship, you're stuck in a vicious, downward cycle that can ruin your health and wellbeing.
Your Job Could Be Making You Fat
If you've personally noticed this phenomenon in action, it's not all in your head. About half off all US workers report that they've piled on the pounds since starting their current job, with 28 percent having gained over 10 lbs and 13 percent over 20 lbs. Gaining weight as a result of job-related stress could make you more susceptible to all kinds of physical health problems, of course, ranging from heart disease to diabetes.
One study explains why job-related stress could lead you to put on weight: depressed, anxious workers are more likely to sit on the couch with a tub of ice cream than go out for a run after work, to put it simply.
Work-Related Stress Impacts Sleep, Which Impacts Work Performance
Are deadlines, nasty co-workers, job instability, and worries over your performance keeping you up at night? You're not alone. A lack of sleep influences your mood negatively and lowers your immune system, offering just a partial explanation for the facts that hating your job can make you anxious and depressed and more prone to disease. In addition, when stress eats away at your sleep, your performance at work inevitably suffers, in turn causing yet more stress.
The World Health Organization's Global Strategy for Health also states that "every citizen of the world has a right to healthy and safe work and to a work environment that enables him or her to live a socially and economically productive life". Though you may have global bigwigs on your side if you're working in an emotionally toxic environment, though, you're probably going to be on your own in managing it.
Ultimately, you can only do two things: attempt to feel more satisfaction in your current job by working on yourself or by trying to influence those things about your job that make you unhappy, or look for a new job in which you will be satisfied.