Red flags that might mean your job is hurting your mental health.
Yep, you read that right. I quit my job. Just two short months after my start date. Which to be completely honest still gives me some feelings of shame/guilt. My mind tries to convince me that I’M the one who couldn’t cut it. That I couldn’t just stick it out because my mind is weak.
Of course, I know this isn’t true. In fact, I know that i’m stronger for seeing the signs and getting out before my mental health is really compromised.
I’m sure most of you can look back on a job (or maybe at the one you’re currently working) and see things that lead up to destruction. If not, I’m so very happy for you, but I want it to stay that way. So, I thought we’d discuss some of the red flags -employer related as well as personal- that tell me my mental health is being compromised by a job. Keep in mind as you read, that everyones flags may be different.
Employer related- Red flags
- Guys this is HUGE. If a company is understaffed and has a hard time keeping staff… just walk away. It usually means they are more concerned about the bottom line than their employees.
- How they deal with employee injuries.
- What is their first reaction? Are they quick to place blame on the employee? How do they handle emergency care?
- Not providing adequate time to perform duties.
- Do you find yourself doing makeup work on the weekends- unpaid?
- Is there a gratitude when you put in the extra time or is it just shrugged off and not appreciated?
- Are they looking for quality employees or someone to just fill the space?
- Is there someone who is constantly violating critical rules who gets looked over? – Even when it’s effecting other people’s jobs.
Personal- Emotional Red flags
- The first sign I get (leading up to a panic attack or breakdown) is when I start taking my emotional baggage from work home with me.
- Not being able to decompress because there was just so much going on at work makes it hard to manage, especially with pre-existing anxiety.
- This first thing my husband said days after I quit was related to the subject was, “Babe, You’re in such a better mood now. You really are much happier.”
- Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand just how much emotional baggage i’m bringing home. Clearly, I had a whole suitcase full. Looking back I can see how angry or anxious id become, even while I wasn’t working! My poor sweet husband.
- How i’m feeling about the job, starts to effect my actual performance and enjoyment.
- I noticed that I was starting to HATE what being a teacher. I had none of the extra passion or connection with the kids that I normally have. I didn’t have the energy. This only led to more guilt and “well maybe it’s just me.”
- Spending my entire weekend agonizing about Monday, then Monday agonizing about Tuesday and so forth.
- I never knew what to expect exactly other than chaos, so I would literally agonize over each and every day just trying to prepare myself for just how bad that next day would be.
- Finally, crying at work. Yes, I’m also pretty hormonal (thanks pregnancy), but you shouldn’t be so stressed out by your job that you literally just stop and cry. ITS TIME TO GO!
Thankfully I had the self awareness, due to previous experiences, to see that this just wasn’t a good place for me to be. I wish I’d noticed earlier, but I can confidently say that I did my best to work it out.
I tried to reason with management and help create a better working environment for not only me but the other employees who were reaching their limits as well, but at the end of the day it just wasn’t happening and it was time to walk away in order to save my own health.
An employer is not worth sacrificing your health- mental or physical. YOU MATTER! There are other people who will see that, you just have to keep looking for what you deserve. Find an environment that values you and will allow you to flourish. You’ll feel much better and make much more of an impact.