Dealing with an unhealthy job

Do you return home at night and talk for hours about work with your friends, family and/or significant other? Or do you dream about work when you go to sleep? Do you wake up early anxious about what you have to do at work that day?

This has happened to me. Looking back on it now, I understand how unhealthy this was not only for me personally but also for those around me. My colleagues and I would spend a good chunk of our day complaining, which ate into valuable work time. Then I’d go home and talk about how annoyed I was. I felt like I was thinking about work 24 hours a day.

I knew I had to convince myself that there was more beyond my job. I began reading a book at first and that gave me an escape. Then I started to think about what I really wanted to do next in my career – a different job entirely or a degree? I couldn’t answer all this on my own because it was too overwhelming. So I began searching my network and alumni databases and found people with jobs that looked of interest to me. I sent emails and made phone calls to those who offered to talk in more detail. All of this made me feel like I was not stuck in a bad job forever.

Generally I don’t like to advise people not to live in the moment. But sometimes it’s not possible and we must look at what could lie ahead. If you’re stuck in a work situation that is stressing you out to this extent, it may be time to think of your next step and starting taking action to move toward it.