Why Being Unhappy in Your Job or Career Impacts on your Mental Health and Well-being

Research consistently shows that at least 1 in 2 people are unhappy and unfulfilled in their jobs or careers.

This sobering statistic is often banded around in the media in the UK and US. It means that either you are affected personally, or you know people who are and we all do, don’t we?

However, aside of creating alarm or intrigue, this worrying statistic is only the tip of the iceberg. So, ‘what lies beneath?’

Having previously been a taboo subject, much is currently being written and discussed, in the media, about mental health issues in the workplace with some high profile celebrities championing the cause.

For the typical career professional, unless you are extremely lucky, it’s unlikely you will have access to the support you need to keep you on the straight and narrow. Therefore, it’s really important to understand the true impact of being unhappy in your job or career, so you can do something about it.

What Happens if You Don’t Change?

There is little doubt that your career and life are inextricably linked. Therefore, one of the best motivations for making your job or career change happen is looking at what happens if you don’t change. When I ask my clients and people at my seminars ‘what happens if you are unhappy and don’t change’, without exception the typical responses are some or all the following will manifest:

  • You will get ever more frustrated and angry
  • You lose your energy and zest for life
  • It is very likely to have a negative impact on your relationships (especially your nearest and dearest!)
  • Your health suffers
  • Your unhappiness in your job becomes all consuming
  • It affects your whole outlook on life
  • You spend your life moaning about your situation, so are just no fun to be around!

Clearly, all these issues will impact on your mental health and well-being.

Angry person

The biggest ‘Sin’

From my perspective, worse still…

If you believe you were put on this planet to be the best person you can be and achieve your true potential, you will never achieve your true potential constantly thinking ‘what if’ or ‘someday’, will you?

Living Your Life in Compromise

By burying your head in the sand and ignoring your unhappy situation, you are choosing to live your life in compromise. Whilst I understand there are likely to be valid reasons holding you back from making a change, most likely financial concerns, you only get one shot at this life.

As you can see, by not taking action, things will only get worse. You will undoubtedly create a negative, domino, down spiralling effect on everything in your life and why would you choose to let that happen?

Tackling the Root Cause  

Inevitably we all face key challenges in our career and personal lives and one thing is consistent, if we are to overcome them…we must take positive action! However, if you never get out of your comfort zone, nothing will ever change, will it?

So, if you don’t want to feel like a pressure cooker about to reach boiling point or a volcano waiting to erupt, ask yourself this key question….

How long are you prepared to hold yourself back from achieving a happy and fulfilling career and life before you take positive action to change your situation?

I have had clients tell me ‘they felt they were heading into the abyss’, before they eventually took positive action and we started working together. What an awful dark and lonely place to be. Also, think how much damage was done to their confidence and self-worth before they did tackle the root cause. The good news is that they are now happy and have a bright new future, leading a fulfilling working lifestyle of their choice, as you can too.

It’s Your Choice – ‘Today’ or ‘Someday’?

There is no magic wand or ‘holy grail’, only you can take responsibility and choose to start the process to bring about the change that could transform your career and life.

The choices we make shape our lives. So, if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life, unhappy, unfulfilled and thinking ‘what if’, check out my Career Catalyst website and see how I can help you ‘make the rest of your work life, the best of your work life’!

Steve Preston is known as The Career Catalyst ®. A leading Career Coach to professionals and executives, the Career Coach’s Coach, MD of specialist Consultancy SMP Solutions (Career & People development) Ltdmotivational speaker and Internationally acclaimed Author of Career and Personal Development books and products, including Portfolio Careers – How to Work for Passion, Pleasure & Profit, Winning through Career Change and Winning Through Redundancy.