Over the past few years in the working world, I have met a lot of people who are just miserable at their job. Most of the time, this is a result of having a really bad manager, which is generally a result of a higher level organizational flaw.
Most of these unsatisfied people continue to stay at their job, day in and day out, as it keeps eating away at their mental health. I had one manager tell me I should keep a job I don’t particularly like just so I can earn money to do stuff I do like during my free time. However, considering I spent way over 8 hours a day at this job, and sometimes weekends, I didn’t think that was a fair trade-off. Now, in a surprising new research study, scientists show that, income nonwithstanding, an unstable thanksless job takes as much or more toll on your mental health as having no job at all.
Australian National University researchers analyzed data from 7,155 survey respondents of working age to learn how various psychosocial employment circumstances affect mental health.
The researchers found that poor-quality jobs – those with high demands, low control over decision making, high job-insecurity, and an effort-award imbalance – had a worse affect on mental health than unemployment.
“As hypothesized, we found that those respondents who were unemployed had significantly poorer mental health than those who were employed”, the researchers write. “However, the mental health of those who were unemployed was comparable or more often superior to those in jobs of the poorest psychosocial quality… The current results therefore suggest that employment strategies seeking to promote positive outcomes for unemployed individuals need to also take account of job design and workplace policy.”
So if you have a really bad job, consider looking for other jobs instead of settling and letting your mental health decline. Of course, the hard part is figuring out what other job you’d want, but that will come as you try various new jobs instead of locking yourself into one bad one.
Do you like your job? If so, how did you discover that this is what you want to do?
Article image via action figure insider.