We spend a large proportion of our lives in the working world, and this amount of time continues to increase. Our career is interlocked with the rest of our lives so any negativity we feel whilst working can permeate other areas of our lives, from our relationships to our health and our mood. As the 24/7 lifestyle continues to blur the lines between work and social life, it is increasingly common for people to take work home, to be constantly checking emails late into the night and losing out on valuable sleep due to a wired brain that just won’t switch off. Career confusion and upset really can be all encompassing and it still surprises me how many people opt to ‘stick it out’ instead of making a career change. It can be difficult to accept that a career change may be exactly what is required to remove undue stress and strain, however, this is actually an exciting process that will rapidly improve all areas of your life. Here are some tell-tale signs that your stress levels could be reaching problematic levels, and that it could be time to consider a career reboot.
There will be periods during our working lives that make us feel more stressed than others, like an impending deadline or increased workload, but when this stress becomes a regular occurrence, you should take a step back and really consider whether the fear of change is greater than the stress you currently feel. This stress can cause you to exhibit negative behaviours and attitudes towards others, so remain attentive to how you feel and be prepared to make changes.
Your health – both mental and physical
Prolonged periods of negative moods are a key sign that your career is causing you too much stress and detrimentally affecting your quality of life. People react differently when subjected to stress – some angrily and when this is internalised, it can come out in frustrated outbursts and cause, or aggravate, health conditions. Others lose interest in their job completely and block out any stress they may be feeling. Not only does this have a detrimental effect on the individual, but it can also place strain upon colleagues who may be relying on them for results. The mood change may not be a drastic one, but it is important to be vigilant of not only yourself but those around you.
Do not underestimate the impact stress can have on your physical health – it some cases it has even been fatal. Stress can impact almost every part of the body with common conditions including gut and digestion issues, migraines, muscle tension and hormone imbalances, but stress has also been known to cause severe issues like heart attacks. Rather than subject your body to prolonged stress, consider how you feel and if a career change would lessen, or remove, some of these feelings – you owe it to yourself.
The ‘work-life balance’ may feel like an elusive term for many, but it is a very important one. This will be different for everyone but time for relaxation should be factored in every day, be that time with family or a hobby. Whilst working is a big part of our lives, this should not be at the expense of vital downtime. Without adequate space to switch off, the possibility of burnout quickly rises. If workplace stresses are causing you to neglect vital time for yourself, take a step back and revise how you balance your time.
When your career is causing you to work, or think about work, 24/7, feel stressed and experience out of character moods, your relationships will also come under strain. Not spending enough time with your partner or family can cause tensions and frustrations from both parties that require attention. If you find your job is creating a stressful home life you may need to reevaluate your schedule. This could be switching up your work-life balance but it could be a complete career change if the job makes you unhappy.
Remember to not neglect your relationship with yourself in favour of what you think may be best for yourself. There is much more to someone than the job they do, to ensure it does not stop you from expressing all sides of your character – a partner, a friend, a sibling or even volunteer for a charitable cause. No job is worth sacrificing a positive relationship with yourself and those closest to you.
Workplace stress and unhappiness is all too often something that many people choose to just put up with out of fear of the unknown, but it is pushing outside your comfort zone that might give you the most positive outcome. Your job should never be something that causes you to neglect who you truly are, what you stand for and those closest to you. It may be a daunting leap, but changing job or career is an act which will allow you to take back ownership of your life and live it to the full.
Are you ready to kick stress to the curb and reboot your career? Get in touch today for a complimentary consultation and start to make a change for the better!