When it comes to jobs, I think we can all agree that not all workplaces are healthy for our well-being. It often takes a couple of years to find your place in the world, and that includes experiencing different workplaces!
In it, people have shared solutions that involve quitting your job and ones that are a little more adaptive. Take a look for yourself and see.
1. Oh, god yes. I stayed at jobs like that for several years and just became increasingly miserable. It’s funny to think of the person I was in my early to mid-twenties because I was so driven and positive back then, and working at jobs I absolutely hated really just gutted the life out of me. I coped by… honestly, telling myself that the misery was “worth it” (it was not); self-medicating with alcohol and junk food (resulting in a weight gain of 2-3 dress sizes that I’m still working to reduce); becoming a much more hardened and cynical person; and placing a lot of the emotional labour on my poor partner to not only take over the majority of household chores, but also deal with my consistently shitty moods and whining about work.
2. Yep, this was me at my last job, which I freelanced at for under a year. Worked 10-12 hour days with a 1.5-hour per way commute. I worked in a room alone with no windows. Other people who worked there were way older than me in their own solitary rooms. I’d basically just be sitting in a room alone, never seeing the sunlight, for 5 or 6 days a week. I would come home literally every day and cry. My boyfriend was so wonderful during this time, doing a majority of cleaning around the apartment and always being a great listener.
3. I hate coming to work on a daily basis. It helps to get support from my SO, but I do try hard not to complain too much. I figure I’ll give this job a year and if things don’t improve, I’ll find something else.
4. This is me now! I’m in my first job out of university and it feels like it’s sucking the life out of me. Applying for jobs all the time but getting no response is hard, and I can see this unhappiness seeping into my personal life. Persevering though, I know I’ll get there eventually but it feels exhausting at the moment!
5. “I do think a certain amount of dues are meant to be paid at the outset of one’s career, but not so many dues that you lose sight of who you are, you know? Your job should challenge you, not traumatize you.” This is key, I wish I had heard this and understood it when I started my first job and stayed for a year and endured a lot of misery and trauma.
6. I was in the same boat as you. Told myself the stress and misery was worth the paycheck and “getting my foot in the door.” Instead I gained 20 lbs (which, as a 5’0″ woman, really fucked my wardrobe over), became incredibly anxious and depressed, and kept having to fight the urge to binge-drink alone on Friday night when my husband would leave the house to hang out with his friends at a local bar. I got snippy and just really mad at everything. Any additional stress made me want to snap and cry because I couldn’t get a damn break from it anywhere. Finally, I resigned and went back to my old job. It doesn’t pay as well, but the toxic “tiny (four people total) law firm” atmosphere is gone and I can BREATHE. I’m not thinking that anyone is sabotaging me or being texted by coworkers about what someone is saying behind my back. There’s no office politics here. I started going back to therapy and my therapist was very, very proud of me for sticking up for myself and removing myself from a very toxic environment.
7. Yep. Quit a fancy well paying job that was making me miserable. I feel way better, sort of miss the paycheck though. But, I think I’ll be able to eventually get close to as good of a paying gig that makes me happy.
8. Finally left the job 1 year ago and I’m still recovering. Finally in therapy to deal with issues that I had basically shoved down because I was just trying to make it through every day at my job. I gained 50 lbs in my 5 years with the company. The job completely changed my soul. I miss the person I was before the job! It’s crazy what a bad situation can do to your life personally.
9. Taking walks at lunch. Every day. No exceptions. The second half of the walk you will have forgotten about your (terrible) boss. If you work for a company that has more than one department, keep begging HR for a transfer until it happens. I had to threaten to sue but it was the best decision of my life and I have a much better boss/job/life now.
10. Long term strategy: Figure out why you’re staying. Are you adding to your resume or skill set? What motivated you to get this particular job? What are you bringing to the table each day? What things would need to change for you too be happy? By identifying the things you want, and articulating them clearly, you’re more likely to find some drive to either hold on or jump out. The hard part is to understand that you’re not powerless in this, and you have more control of your work environment and attitude than you realised.
11. Yup. I left. If it’s toxic for you and no one is doing anything about it, start looking ASAP. Don’t do what I did, I stayed longer than maybe I should have and got burnt out. Burn out recovery is a big deal. Don’t wait till you’re there.
12. I stayed at a job for 2 years that I frankly should have quit after 2 weeks. Finding another job would have been difficult, but working my way back out of the mental health hole I dug was worse.
13. I like the actual work but can’t stand the vicious, petty personalities I deal with on top of a ridiculous workload. The really bad days are like being thrown in the ocean with a bunch of people who don’t know how to swim and they are all trying to use you as a life preserver. Everyone is either trying to prove their merit or cover their own ass by discrediting you. I cope by having very limited social interaction and saying no to anything I don’t want to do during my free time. I make damn sure I know more than my assailants, and that they know I will put considerably more effort into my defense than they did into their attack and they’d better know what they’re talking about if they want to go there with me… You have to learn how to detach from the job emotionally, maintain perspective, and know what to make a priority or it will kill your health.
14. I take my lunch every day, and don’t let myself fall into the habit of working through lunch or even eating at my desk. I use half to eat, take a walk for the other half. I also try to take it later in the day when not as many people are on lunch so I don’t have to deal with them interrupting my time. I also live my life as fully as possible outside of work, using the money I make at my miserable job. I go to the gym every day to try to counteract all the sitting, go to the movies, go hiking, cook, play video games, etc. Basically I try not to live to work, I work to live. Just another means to an end.
15. Look for a new job immediately. While at work – head down, do the work, try not to get caught up in the drama.
So, either quit and make sure you have another job in place before doing that, go to therapy, or adapt to the culture in a way that it doesn’t start affecting other areas of your life. *Okay, good to know, thanks!*