A third of your life is spent at work. That is 90,000 hours over the course of your lifetime.
Now, there is no workplace without its drawbacks. Whether it’s Karen at work making your life miserable or the lack of stimulation when you are freelancing from home, there will always be something (or someone) to complain about.
But there is a line that we all ought to draw, for the sake of ourselves but also our loved ones.
Some scientific papers have found that stress accumulated in the workplace is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. That number seems very abstract, and it is difficult to put into what that means from the perspective of our individual lives, but you should be taking your well-being seriously.
Identifying the warning signs is the first step in self-care in the workplace.
In this article, let’s look at the 3 telling signs that your career is killing you
1) You’re Not Growing in Your Career
Only 13% of workers say that they have a passion for what they do. While we all can’t fulfill our dream of retiring into the mountains and writing the next great American novel, what is to say you, specifically, can’t?
Okay, maybe quitting your job to become a freelance investigative journalist is not the soundest way to provide for three kids and a mortgage.
But unless you’re perfectly content with the trajectory your career has taken and are happy to stay just where you are, then you need to take care that you’re actively acquiring new skills in a company that has room for your advancement.
If this isn’t the case, it’s time to reevaluate your position with your current employer.
2) Your Health and Safety Isn’t Prioritized in the Workplace
Falling objects, slip and falls, highway accidents, as well as machinery accidents, are just a few of the most common workplace accidents, according to one car accident injury attorney in Oakland.
Things happen, and accidents can happen anywhere. But there is no excuse for negligence.
If you see yourself or your coworkers put into precarious positions where the safety of yourself and others is jeopardized in the interest of cutting corners, it is time to bail! It’s easy to say that it won’t be you—and then, suddenly, it is.
But that isn’t the only way your employer can compromise your health and wellness. If your workplace requires you to lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are already getting hurt on the job. Sedentary living has been linked to decreased cardiovascular health, weight gain, and an inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Exercising regularly outside of work is key, but long workdays spent sitting or stationary will have a negative effect on your health regardless.
Consider implementing a standing desk or other means of getting the blood flowing, and talk to your superior about your concerns while presenting ideas for possible solutions.
If your employer objects to the ways you have sought to minimize the effects of a sedentary lifestyle without disrupting workflow, consider carefully what that says about your employer’s priorities.
3) Work Stress is Piling Up
Because your job takes up such a significant portion of your time, it is natural that it should take up a proportionate amount of your attention.
But loyal employees and hard workers sometimes have a hard time distinguishing just what a “proportionate amount” is in terms of the time we dedicate to our work.
Sometimes, it’s tempting—or even necessary–to answer that email off the clock or to put in some overtime over the weekend. After all, what’s an hour or two every week?
That time adds up. For those of us eager to prove our worth to a company or just to advance our careers, dedicating more time to the workplace is a no-brainer.
But workplace stress is very real, and the best way to combat that stress is to keep relegated to the workplace. The French government recognized these and even went so far as to implement a Right to Disconnect law, empowering employees to ignore work-related emails after hours.
Whenever you have the opportunity, make the choice to stop taking your work home with you. Your friends and family will thank you, and your future self will thank you, too!
While there is no perfect workplace, there are many factors you can control. You have an obligation to yourself and your loved ones to maintain good mental, physical, and spiritual health.
If your current job is putting you at your wit’s end but you feel helpless to change it, take a deep breath, and make a list of the things you’re willing to compromise for your current career track.
I would wager your health is not one of them.