How much can your job affect your life?

posted 1 year ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
1254 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

A job can affect every element of your life.  It can impact your health, your relationships, your general happiness, everything.  We spend so much of our waking time either at work, getting ready for work, commuting to/from work or just thinking about work.  It’s integral.

I left a really bad work situation recently, and I feel so much better.  Once you get into a healthy environment and remember how good things can be, you’ll feel so much better!

Post # 3
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee

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otterbee :  My last job affected me this way, too. I went back to healthcare two years ago, and I am so much happier now. My last job was a wonderful place to work, but my overly stressed boss and coworkers were draining. The unexpected overtime and working weekends was draining. Our severely understaffed department was draining. I’ve never been a stressed person by nature, and I am so much happier now. I used to lay awake at night thinking of the overwhelming stressful day ahead of me, and would wake up, dreading going to work. I am a bit saddened to hang out with old coworkers now, because their mood and pessimism reminds me of how I used to feel. At the same time, I feel grateful I had the courage to leave. I believe you will feel a big weight is lifted the minute you get into your car, and drive away from your job one last time. Best of luck to you in your new position. 

Post # 4
Member
1053 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I worked a stressful job that expected a crazy amount of ot.  They would send out an email at the beginning of the week telling everyone what they expected (usually 2 extra hours a day and 4 hours on the weekend) They had no respect for anyone’s life outside of work and often demanded that people cancel whatever they were doing to stay late or come in early.  They once asked someone to not go to the wedding she was in because we were having mandatory ot that weekend.   I was constantly stressed out because I felt I was giving my whole life to work.  I now have a job where I do zero ot and my life outside of work is my own.  Life is too short.

Post # 5
Member
6168 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

Of course job burnout is real! People can spend more time at work than with their spouse. Toxic work environments can make you physically and emotionally sick. Good job on finally getting out of that hell. You might not see big differences in how u behave after work right away, it takes time to process and move past the stress and trauma you have because of your prior job but eventually you’ll feel like you’re slowly getting back to being yourself. GL!

 

Post # 6
Member
9062 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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otterbee :  job burn out is absolutely real. I had a job once that gave me severe stomach issues because I was so stressed out and anxious all the time from a toxic environment. I work in the same field, in the same city, but at a different company and my life is great! Much less stress and I can leave work and work and still be a fun productive person at home.  Sure every place has it’s bad days, but now they are few and far between. 

Post # 7
Member
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Of course job burnout is real, and if you are working 60 hour weeks regularly, it’s not surprising it would impact you.

I left a miserable job about a year ago. I was so burnt out I didn’t even feel like I even had the energy/ optimism to interview well, so I decided to take a few months off and just relax/ travel/ check some items off my bucket list. I stressed over this decision for MONTHS (maybe more like a year)- I knew I would be ok financially, but I worried I would lose out on opportunities or hurt my career. As soon as I gave notice, though, I knew it was absolutely the right decision!

Now I am at a much more laid back job, and I am million times happier. But, some of the things you mentioned- caring a lot about how I present myself, feeling ambitious and like I want to climb the ladder at the new company- haven’t really returned. I think my miserable job and the subsequent time off just made me change my priorities. I used to be a competitive person and expected great things from my career. Now I just don’t care about those things as much. I want to enjoy my work and have great work-life balance and be financially stable. The other aspects just aren’t important to me anymore.

Maybe your experience will be different and you will go back to being the same person you were when you started this job. But don’t be surprised if it’s altered your view more permanently. IMO that’s not really a bad thing.

Post # 9
Member
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

Yes! I was someone who “pursued my passion,” but it was a lot of work that ultimately wasn’t making me happy enough to balance the trade offs.

While in undergrad I made the decision to continue onto grad school assuming I would pursue a career in STEM research. To set myself up for that career, I pushed myself to excel as much as I could and prioritized my professional development over everything else. I was valedictorian of my college class, a National Science Foundation fellow; I secured my own grant funding for my dissertation research, developed my project from the ground up, worked 100+ hours per week in the summer doing all of my own fieldwork. I published in high impact journals, and my research has been featured in various news articles, on radio shows and podcasts, etc. My dissertation committee praised me at every meeting, and I passed my defense and submitted my dissertation with no revisions needed. 

But if I wanted to stay in research I needed to do a post doc and then either become a professor or research scientist at an agency. I was also planning to move back to my home state, so I applied to post doc positions in that area. I got no offers, no interviews even. It was like I was starting over again as an undergrad trying to get my first internship, trying to get someone to give me a chance. And I realized I’d be going through the same thing again after the post doc. It was discouraging, and my self confidence plummeted during six months of unemployment.

I knew I needed to open up my search geographically in order to shorten the process. But I didn’t want to. I moved halfway across the country for my PhD, but I was looking forward to settling back in my home state. I had spent my PhD years living alone and mostly isolated. The research track wasn’t important enough to me anymore to keep sacrificing everything else.

So I made the transition to government and regulatory work. I still do field work, I still write reports and grant applications. But I work 35 hours per week and am actually making much more money than I would have been as a post doc or a starting research professor. But honestly I would prefer this work over a post doc even if the pay was the same. The bureaucracy and cronyism can be a bummer at times, but it’s not my whole life. There’s much less pressure to be constantly pushing myself. Long hours are expected in research; in government they’re discouraged. My boss and coworkers actually encourage me to take more days off. It’s a very different culture. 

I finally feel like I can take a breath and just work this job without constantly thinking about how to get to the next stage of my career. If I get itchy down the line I can always look for a different job, but if I don’t want to I don’t feel like I have to, and that’s a good feeling. And I’ve developed better lifestyle habits as a result. I go to the gym, I go grocery shopping more, I cook more, I clean more, just as a start. 

Post # 11
Member
935 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

In my 20’s I was extremely career focused. It was my whole life aside from my kids.

Now in my 30’s its just a paycheck. I make a little less but I have great work life balance – 40 hrs and no work comes home ever. I clock out and dont think about it.

Currently finishing school to double my income but in a field where I will have the same 40 hours/clock out balance bc I really value my personal/family time now.

Post # 12
Member
63 posts
Worker bee

View original reply
otterbee :  Several things: first, employment burnout was just officially declared an official condition so definitely look that up if you haven’t already. Second, studies have shown that working excessive hours (and 60/wk) definitely counts!) can seriously harm your health. Third, I was a teacher and started feeling myself getting depressed so I saw a counselor. She was very concerned when I told her I was so stressed in class that my heart would start racing and feeling funny on a daily basis. I told her I was worried about the impact on my health of being so stressed and she said my concerns were entirely valid. I quit mid-year and it took a good 6 weeks of me sitting at home watching Netflix to feel like myself again and have the energy and motivation to enjoy hobbies, etc. I should also mention that my stress over my job was leading me to lash out at my partner all the time. That wasn’t acceptable. I’m happy now. He no longer asks me what’s wrong all the time just to hear me say that I’m thinking about work.

Lastly, I think it’s valid to wonder if there’s something else at play. However, you’ll have no way of knowing until you get yourself out of that toxic situation. Wishing you all the best. 

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