The Hidden Effects of Hating Your Job
You might believe that you’re hiding the symptoms of job disillusionment. People around you might beg to differ
By Mark Swartz
It’s not easy to admit it when you hate your job. The implications could be hugely disruptive. Maybe you’ll have to confront the employer or even leave to find work elsewhere.
That’s why some people downplay the problem. They tip-toe around it by faking engagement and hoping no one notices. Except the truth starts seeping out anyway, like poison oozing from a leaky drum. The effects can be toxic for you and those you care about.
Instead of diving into denial, be aware of the toll that’s being exacted. It might save you from stressing out your loved ones and friends, falling seriously ill, or even from getting fired!
Indications That You Hate Your Job
Everyone dislikes their work every so often. All careers have their normal ups and downs. But what if you start feeling paralyzingly anxious Sunday evenings, then show up later (and later) for work?
Other signs might include resentful – possibly vengeful – thoughts about the employer, or too much daydreaming about greener pastures. Decreased productivity is a common symptom. So are diminished commitment and griping aloud. Combine a few of these obvious indicators and your job could be put at risk.
The Emotional Toll
The stress of hating your job is considerable. There is pressure to conceal your negativity while at work. This results in putting up with demands and treatment that rub you the wrong way.
Mood changes under these circumstances are not uncommon. Anger and frustration can grow worryingly. Trying to be strong and silent saps your emotional energy. Eventually there’s not much left to spread around.
After business hours is when you can vent. Except who will you dump your annoyances on: your spouse? Kids? Friends and family? Alternatively a few stiff drinks or a couple of tokes could take the edge off…but that’s hardly a healthy way of channeling your tension.
In medical terminology, the word “somatizing” means expressing psychological conflicts through the body. Emotional stress often shows up as tense shoulders, back pain and stomach discomfort.
At higher levels it can wear down the body’s defenses. That’s when people start to get sick more easily. Sustained tension can also make people lose concentration and seem constantly drained. This could lead to making mistakes at work, or causing some sot of accident.
When work sours your private life can suffer too. It’s not like you can turn off your irritation like a light switch. It tends to carry over into behaviours and relationships after hours.
Are you unintentionally imposing on people you care about? Maybe, if you’re asking them for advice on how to fix your situation though they aren’t equipped to help. Also if you’re taking out job disappointments on those who are trying to be supportive.
Another social impact to watch for is withdrawing from your normal activities. You’d rather be alone than let your misery bubble up publicly. Or you convince yourself it’s better to ride this out on your own than burden anyone else. This social isolation can actually worsen your sense of estrangement.
Gradually lack of motivation will show up in your work efforts. The boss and coworkers are going to want answers. Before allowing things to deteriorate irreparably, consider available options.
There are four basic ways to handle this: suck it up and live with what is; talk to your boss and see if conditions can be improved; try to get changes made by someone other than your boss; or, if the situation is truly hopeless, be proactive about leaving.
There’s a limit to how much you can let job discontent pollute your life. Deal with it and prevent contamination that splashes every which way.