Feel like you’ve been worked to the bone?
There are seasons of effort in every industry, but how can you tell what’s a “funk” and what’s a sign you’re unhappy at work? We have detailed the top signs your work is causing issues in every area of your life so you can figure out your next steps.
Your General Health is Declining
If you’re unhappy at work – it doesn’t just stay at work. It would be lovely if life worked that way though, wouldn’t it? We could compartmentalize our bad habits and stow away negative areas of our life and not ever worry about it spilling over into everything else.
But, alas. You cannot run from your unhappiness, even if you try your best to leave it at the office every day at 5pm. It will follow you everywhere and affect your general health in ways you probably wouldn’t expect. Here are just a few that come to mind:
You’re Eating or Drinking More
When you’re unhappy at work, that probably means you’re stressed. And unfortunately for all of us, stress wreaks havoc on our bodies. Stress is closely tied to hormones – specifically cortisol – and that messes with our eating habits, which usually results in weight gain. But aside from the number on the scale – overeating, eating poorly, or drinking too much is hardly ever good for our physical or mental health. I know it seems like you’re trying to avoid the pain by enjoying yourself (can’t you have a damn break here?!), but this isn’t productive. And it’s probably making you feel even worse.
You’re not Exercising as Much
I get it. The last thing you want to do after a shitty day at work is to go get your ass kicked on a stationary bike. Doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? All you want to do is go home, chug a glass of chardonnay, and be done with the day.
That itch to dump your exercise routine is coming from mental exhaustion. You’re so burnt out just trying to stay in a normal state of mental equilibrium, that the last thing you want to do is use your last, final push of the day to do something uncomfortable.
My advice is to resist the urge. When you’re unhappy at work, you could really use some endorphins. It’s a struggle, but you will be so much better off exercising during this shitty phase than sitting on your booty while you wait for the weekend.
You’re not Sleeping Well
Whenever I was “going through it” – my dad would always say one thing:
“I know this sucks, but try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Even if life is hard, it’s a whole lot worse if you’re sleep deprived.”
Accurate. Oh, so accurate. But herein lies the problem: being unhappy at work is highly correlated with shittier sleep. Which means it’s a whole lot harder to remain positive, cheery, and well rested when you are spending every minute of the work week just trying to get through it. Do your best to invest in your sleep during this time. Get a weighted blanket or a sleep mask, make sure your blinds are closed tightly, invest a sound machine (app), drink calming tea before bed, and definitely cut off screens a solid hour before bed. Do whatever you can to create a nighttime sanctuary so you stand a fighting chance for better sleep!
You’re More Irritable
Shocker: when you’re unhappy at work, you’re not as…nice…as you typically are. In fact, everything seems to set you off. Where has your patience gone? You’re pissed about missing the elevator, about being an entire TWO SECONDS late, about your neighborhood coffee stop being out of your special blend…like, girl. Chill.
But you can’t CHILL because everything pisses you OFF because you have no reservoir of patience left in your damn body. You’ve. Had. It. Because everything you’ve given has gone to that job you have, and you’re resentful and bitter and…you get it. Here are some other signs work is pushing you to the edge –
You’re Fighting with Friends and Family
You know those people you love to absolute pieces? Your ride or dies? Besties? Baes?
Yeah, you hate them right now.
Every little thing they say or do is winding you right up. You’re picking fights with them for not understanding your turmoil. You’re upset with them for not thinking 1000000 steps ahead in order to satisfy their every need. And you’re definitely participating in spats so you don’t have to focus on how miserable you are at work.
It’s incredibly easy to be angry with the people we love, because we know they won’t leave us. We are safe with them. We can react and lash out and be ridiculous human beings – and they won’t go anywhere. But that’s still not the kind of person we want to be, right? So if you’re noticing yourself being irritable with friends and family – chances are, it’s not about them. It’s about you.
Coworkers are Bothering You
You and I both know that Susan in accounting does not deserve the ‘tude you are spitting at her right now.
But it’s not just Susan. You’re annoyed with the doorman, the receptionist, HR, your boss, your team manager, and your intern. Everyone is incompetent. Everyone is bad at their job. And everyone is out to get you.
Again, if the whole world is rubbing you the wrong way – it’s not about them. Your job is sucking up every ounce of pleasantness you have, and you are leaving none for anyone else. When you start to notice that your fuse is SO short that POOR LITTLE SUSAN can’t even catch a break from you, you’re in trouble. It’s time to really decide if this job is worth it, or if it’s time to quit.
Your Attitude Sucks
Aside from your interactions with others – have you noticed your general attitude towards the concept of work declining? Maybe? Just a little? Or a LOT?
You used to like work! Remember? You were just a young, fresh-faced little brat ready to take on the world and share your talents with everyone. You loved getting to dress up in your stilettos and buy things like laptop covers and cute thermoses. And you enjoyed doing most of the tasks at your first job because that’s what adults do!
But now? lol
We are all lucky if we get a shower every other day and acknowledgement when you walk through the door. Your respect for your career and work in general has hit an all-time low. And more than likely – that’s a direct result from the relationship you have with your current job. Here are other signs your attitude is slipping:
Every Task Feels like an Obligation
Instead of finding pleasure in your work like you *used* to – everything feels like a weighted task for you to eventually satisfy. You were hired for this job for a reason – probably because you had certain strengths or interests that aligned with the duties. But unfortunately you don’t even like doing that anymore. You’re simply burned out. And it’s more than likely noticeable to people like your direct report, clients, or team members.
If this resonantes – then it’s time for a change. Maybe a total career change is necessary. Maybe a transfer will suffice. And, if possible, perhaps some time off could help you reboot.
You Aren’t Proud of the Company
Remember the day you got this job offer? You called someone – maybe your parents, sibling, significant other, mentor, or best friend – and told them the great news You boasted about the company: what they stand for, what the future holds, and how you’ll help them reach their vision. You were excited. Proud. And ready to roll.
Now, you can barely muster up the energy to attend company wide meetings. Because…what’s the point? You’re miserable, everyone else is miserable, the company is miserable, the world is mis–
Ok. We need some perspective here. You are over it. You need a change of pace. And you need to re-explore the reasons why you took this job in the first place. Maybe you can lead yourself back into falling in love with the company, or maybe you might realize some things have changed since you started working there. But it’s good to pinpoint *why* the attitude change has appeared before you can do anything about it.
It’s All About Money
“I hate my job, but it pays well…” Oh henny, if I had a dime for every time I heard that phrase then I’d give it all to you so you’d never have to work again.
Look, I know, it’s necessary to make money. But when your paycheck is becoming toxic to your health, we have a problem.
If you are staying around just to collect that comfortable lump sum every other week, there are lots of other ways to make and save money. Ways that won’t crush your soul. And let’s face it, in the end, if your unhappiness and stress continue to increase, you won’t be around to enjoy all that money you’ve been collecting anyway.
Point is, do not let money intimidate or imprison you. There is a lot of it out there, and there are plenty of ways to wrangle it in. So what if you need to bartend for a handful of months to get by while you figure out your next move? (I did! It was FUN!) At least you will feel like you’re actually heading somewhere exciting rather than withering away in a stale cubicle.
Don’t let money be your Hello Kitty bandaid when your job is beating you down. It’s just not worth it. So start researching ways to make some fast cash to cover you during your transition phase, and let’s keep going.
You’ve Lost Hope for Your Future Career
Back when my husband was drowning in misery at a big law firm yearrrrrrs ago, I remember having a really poignant conversation with him about work.
Through his sighs and frustrated ramblings, he admitted something really sad: “I don’t want my boss’ life.”
I know that might not sound as depressing to you right now – but think about that statement. Everything he was working for at the time, wasn’t really worth much to him. He didn’t want the future that was laid out before him. He felt lost. Sad. Hopeless. If he was working night and day for a certain result he didn’t want…then what was the point of all of this?
And it wasn’t just the “job” that he didn’t want – he didn’t want his LIFE. He didn’t want the hours, the responsibilities, the privileges, the perks – none of it. Not one ounce of it resonated with him.
And that’s when we knew we had to make a change. We realized that there might be a better career for his personality and ambitions. So if you’re looking down the road and don’t see relief – know that you are incredibly unhappy at work whether you realize it or not.
You Don’t Want a Promotion
In case you TL;DR’d this blog (ya girl, it be long), I figured I would put the most important part of this section in a heading so you could catch it. I’m so considerate!!
So, for those in the back, if you do not want a promotion at your current place of employment, you are O-V-E-R I-T.
End of story. No promotion = no hope for change. Maybe, just MAYBE there could be a transfer in your future that could help mildly, but most likely….not. You might be in the wrong line of work and could possibly want to start over in your career. You are not the first, and you won’t be the last.
You Don’t Feel Valued or Appreciated
This is the real killer. Out of everything else, this is what pains me the most.
You have a voice. You have a ideas. You have value. And if anyone – and I mean ANYONE – is causing you to doubt that, I am so sorry. Workplaces should be filled with encouragement, curiosity, innovation, and support. So when we find ourselves in a place of fear, hostility, and doubt – it’s really hard to remain optimistic. It’s difficult to envision a fruitful future. And it eats away at you.
I encourage you to do whatever you can to change the environment around you, or find a new environment. You don’t have to suffer through anyone dismissing you. There are thousands and thousands of careers out there – and sometimes being in a healthy environment is more important than doing the *exact* work you want. You’re allowed to compromise for your mental health.
Need some clarity?
I do not blame you for one second. This is a really crap time. We work for at minimum 40 hours a week – way too much to be unhappy for most of it. And you probably feel super paralyzed about the situation. It’s in your best interest to talk with someone – whether that’s a counselor or a life coach. Blush offers online life coaching, which could be great for your busy schedule. Regardless of works best for you – make sure to get help during this time! We’re rooting for you!