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Does Being in the Wrong Job Pull Focus Away from Your Mental Health?

08 August 2022

Being in the wrong job might be doing more harm than good.

We all know how stressful work can be. Even if we are at the most amazing job for us, there may be the occasional day that you aren’t just feeling it. It happens more often than you think. Sometimes you got a case of the “Mondays”, and you just wish you were back at home. You might just wake up one morning and kind of be in a fog for no reason. Think of dealing with all of that and going to work. This may make things worse.

So, what could possibly be causing this? Is it your diet, your amount of sleep, or maybe just not enough fun outside of work? Believe it or not all these things are important, but there is something just as important that you might be leaving out of the equation. The thing you should be considering is if you are in the wrong job. This happens more often than you think. We take a job because we want that sense of accomplishment and be able to live a comfortable life. One thing we forget is if it is going to be a job we may enjoy. It is always good to look at a job and find things in it you may enjoy and want to continue to enjoy over the years.

toxic work environment

It also may not be the job itself, but maybe the job environment. Sometimes you may have found a great job, but it ends up being a bit of a toxic work environment. Many of us don’t really know or have experienced what a real toxic work environment is like.

Per Health Essentials, a toxic work environment is: “From systemic issues to the aggressive actions of your boss and colleagues, many things contribute to a toxic work environment. But Dr. Sullivan suggests that analyzing all the details that make a place toxic isn’t nearly as important as what you feel in your gut.

“A toxic work environment is a feeling and not necessarily a checklist,” says Dr. Sullivan. “People know when they’re in a toxic work environment because you pay attention to what your gut is sharing with you as well as any physical responses.”

To determine if you’re in a toxic work environment, you should start by asking yourself a simple question: “Does my workplace align with my value system?”

“Your value system is basically your core beliefs, your core values, things that are crucial to who you are as a person,” says Dr. Sullivan. “It’s what you hang your hat on in terms of personality and behavior and beliefs. Core beliefs are strong values that you are not willing to sway from.”

go for a walk

When you experience this icky feeling, go for a walk, get some fresh air and take the emotion out of it by looking at both sides of the situation. If you’re still feeling nauseated, or if you experience that icky feeling on a regular basis, you may be dealing with a toxic situation.

A toxic work environment doesn’t always show itself in physical manifestations. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell, and it can come in the form of microaggressions. Microaggressions are subtle interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups, specifically those of different genders, races, ethnicity, or sexual preferences.

“A toxic work environment is an environment where there’s no communication and where your leader is not respectful or responsive to your needs,” says Dr. Sullivan. “I think we need to be able to communicate. We need to be able to ask for help.” And if help isn’t offered, that’s a huge sign something is majorly wrong.”

Taking these things into consideration, you may want to re-evaluate your work environment. Take stock in how your work environment is, how your co-workers are around you and how your interactions are with your superiors. You may want to make a mental checklist of all these things to make sure you’re not in a toxic work environment. Being in a toxic work environment could do damage to your mental health more than you think.

Mental health should always be a priority

Mental health should always be a priority. How you feel mentally affects how you can feel physically. Granted physical health should be a top priority as well. If your mental health starts to dwindle, it could affect your focus, motivation, and even how your body can feel. Stress is a hard thing to avoid, but with the right tools, you can keep a great balance between your mental health and physical health.

The more you are in a toxic work environment the more these effects will have on you. They will start to make the job you are in unbearable and start to eat away at you. Having that happen may put you on a path that can ruin your health, and your work experience and overall derail your career path.

You may want to take a step back and realize that a change is in order. Take some time to make a list of what type of job you would want to transition to. Make sure there are things in the job that you will enjoy, but also do research on how employees feel the job environment is. There is a great website called Glassdoor. There are many different reviews from current and former employees on their personal experiences within those companies.

Looking into reviews about the business you potentially want to spend your time and earn money at should always be a priority. The less research you do into a company you want to work for, the more likely you are going to continue the cycle of working in a toxic work environment and have to start all over again looking for a better work environment.

If you are feeling anything close to this, you may want to sit down and have a real think session with yourself on how you want your career to continue. Just remember that you are in control of your life, even if you feel like you don’t. Your career should be just as important as anything in your life that brings you joy.