By: Dr Gwen Smith
You like me may have already read the statistics that 70-80% of people in the US hate their jobs. That’s a large percentage of people. The question that begs to be asked is why? We’ve cited various reasons about why this is and by doing a little research I found some comments that led to other reasons people hate their jobs.
Here are a few exact quotes I came across:
“I still feel unaccomplished”,
“…culture of work is toxic and irrational”
Feeling like a “wage slave”,
“I've been stuck at a desk doing mundane bull…. My biggest fear is my children will grow up and follow the same path of misery”
“There has to be a way to channel our true talents into a meaningful and rewarding way of making a living”
The comments above may be summarized into two categories: overwork and lack of fulfillment for the work being done. The complaints range from people being informed last minute that they have to work longer hours, despite having young children at home, to not feeling appreciated or passionate about the work.
It’s interesting to note that whether or not your boss or your workload dictate the extra work hours, the end result is always the same: stress. The presence of stress in your life leads to physiological, emotional and psychological side effects. You may find that you no longer are able to really enjoy your life in a free and fulfilling way. You feel stuck in your job to meet your living expenses, yet empty and void as you feel there’s no longer any meaningful contribution that you’re making.
Five of the seven days of your week and maybe even six of seven, find you preoccupied with tasks pressing your mind and the solutions to problems when Monday rolls around. It’s no wonder that Mondays present the greatest incidents of heart attack for people returning to work. Work can be stressful filling every moment of your waking day if you allow it.
My Personal Experience
I can completely relate. A few years ago, the workload dictated the length of my work days. As hard as I worked, it seemed as though I could see no end to what needed to be accomplished. There were backlogs of tasks that I had inherited in my new position. They had impending deadlines that had to be addressed. It was completely stressful! Having a small staff and no budget to hire additional help at the time, I chose to continue to work longer and longer hours to ensure we were compliant with all expectations and requirements. New responsibilities and interruptions during the work day would predictably guarantee my consistently working into the wee hours of the morning, getting just a few hours of sleep, only to wake up to rinse and repeat later that day.
There was always a continuous, nagging feeling of looming deadlines, meetings to organize, staff to follow up with, professionals to coach and other tasks that kept me completely wound up during the days and even nights. It felt as though the muscles in my body and my brain were continuously in a flexed state. No relaxation. The lack of sleep, continuous stress and constant thought of work compounded the situation, and I no longer could find enjoyment even during my time off. It was rigged with thoughts of work. Planned time off was not a consideration as the increased workload due to absence was unbearable. I was like a wound-up hamster on a treadmill. My health began to suffer. I knew that something had to change.
I started to assess everything about work, the contribution I was making, and my long-term happiness and became dissatisfied with what I was doing. If I were going to work long hours on any event, it was going to be on something that completely fulfilled me and which made a contribution to people where it mattered most for them: their lives, well-being and their ability to thrive. That’s when things started to shift for me, mentally. I immediately began to feel a deep sense of peace come over me though my circumstance had not yet changed. Within three months of making that decision, I had left to start my business. My mental health, happiness and well-being had increased exponentially. You too can have the same experience.
What Can You Begin to Do About Work Overload?
Working long hours coupled with insufficient sleep carry significant health risks. It’s compounded if you have a young family relying on you for their well-being which you’re barely able to meet. It’s painful for you as you yearn to provide more for your young family while bearing the stress of your job and carrying the fear of not being able to provide if you were to leave to find something new.
Leaving, particularly if your health is at risk, is a good choice if you’re not able to reduce the stressors on your job. You do not have to accept this situation as your final fate. There are lots of other options that you can consider as alternatives. Starting a part-time side income doing something that you love, while working at your job full time can eventually help to produce income that replaces your job. Having clear knowledge about the type of work you’ll love can make a difference in whether or not the next job or your business you do will fulfill you.
A Resource to Help You Find What You’ll Love
Download this free guide to help walk you through some exercises to start to figure things out what you may enjoy doing. Leaving your job immediately may not be practical for you. Laying a strategy for leaving can help, however, as it did for me. If you choose to leave immediately, spend some time prior to leaving, to discover what it is that you’d like to do. This free guide will help you to do that. It contains a series of questions and workbook activities and assessment to help you figure out what you’ll love to do. It’s a great start to lead to a more comprehensive process as done by the Passion Test. The Passion Test will have you arrive at your top five passions in all areas of your life which will serve to enhance your work. It provides complete clarity around everything you do causing you to improve your happiness. It’s comprehensive. It’s something to look at for later.
What Living Your Passions Can Do For Your Life
Doing what you truly love and what fulfills you will reduce or eliminate harmful stress in your life. If you are not fulfilled in your job, then it is imperative that you consider taking the Passion Test to help you discover your top five passions in life. This test will bring you complete clarity. When you are consumed with something that you really love, you can work at it for hours because it doesn’t feel like work. This is experience that I now get to enjoy daily.
Handling the Stressful Job Situation
Job security is a thing of the past. The only security is in something that you can have control over yourself. This could be starting a part time business on the side that could become you full time income later. It’s easier to do these days than you think. So after going through the guide, consider if this will be a possibility for you.
No doubt, you’re probably reading this article because you are searching for some immediate answers to your stressful job situation that you may not be able to immediately escape. If that’s you there are some stress-reduction considerations I'll recommend while you simultaneously consider your alternatives:
1. If you have an office and a secretary, arrange a schedule time slot during which you’ll accept no phone calls, interruptions or anything for that matter, each day.
2. Close your door for 10-15 minutes during the day to do some deep breathing and muscle relaxation, preferably to calming music. You’ll want to inform your secretary.
3. Take a brisk walk at break time or lunch time to release the endorphins so you can feel better
4. If you have a job that has frequent interruptions, arrive a bit earlier in the morning to get the most important work done first. Leaving it until the end of the day typically makes it more challenging to get done.
5. If you find that your boss is being unreasonable about your hours, have a conversation with him or her and make a request for consistent hours within reason. If you accepted the job with the contingency that you can be called upon to work anytime, then you may not have any other recourse but to seek another job or to leave and start your business. It’s not as difficult to do this as you may think. Whether it’s a new business or a job, you will want to start by exploring this free guide to help you in discovering what you really would be happy doing as work.
6. Delegate as often as you can.
7. Take a different perspective about what you believe may be happening. The stories you make about what may be happening can pile on stress in your life. Handle the things within your control and release what you don’t have control over.
8. For the conditions that are causing stress, ask: what is the very worst thing that could happen, then make plans to address the worse thing if it does happen. Let go of the worry as it may never even happen. (Dale Carnegie). Worrying is useless. Release it.
1. For a job that you are not fulfilled in doing, download the free passion guide then work through the exercises to figure out what you may like. Make plans to leave that job either fully or by starting a part time business.
2. For stressful situations, find ways to reduce your stress
3. Take control over your own situation. You can do this by starting something on the side or full time. It’s easier than you think.
Get a free guide to help you identify the work you’ll love!
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