Your career greatly impacts your mental health and the overall quality of your life. Think about it. We work over 80,000 hours on average in our lifetime. You cannot spend that much time working and it does not impact your mental health.

Being stuck in the wrong career can be detrimental to you. You may think it’s only affecting you, but in reality it is impacting you and those around you. I heard one of my clients say “When I was in the wrong career, it felt like I was dying a slow death.”

Here are 4 ways your career can impact you:

Your Physical Health

Staying in the wrong career can be very stressful. This stress can affect your physical body by causing high blood pressure, weight gain, low energy and a compromised immune system. 

How many times have you been stuck awake at night because you can’t get your mind off of your job? All of these things combined can increase your risk of illness, suppress your immune system and impact your physical body negatively.

Your Emotional Health

Stress can be a terrible feeling. It can come with constant or sporadic fits of crying that seem to appear out of nowhere. In many cases, the wrong career can lead to very serious emotional issues like depression and anxiety. The combination of these emotions can lead to being unable to cope with things which can be detrimental to your everyday life by making small issues into huge issues. All of a sudden, you feel like your emotional capacity is compromised and not what it used to be.

Mental Health

Confidence is key, however, when you are stuck in the wrong career, you can suffer with feelings of inadequacy. You may experience low self-esteem/self-worth. You may also feel that dreaded imposter syndrome, like you aren’t qualified to be where you are. Once your confidence takes a major hit, you question your ability to get a new job.

Work Performance & Motivation

When you are in the wrong career, your work performance can start to decline if you are not careful. You go from doing above and beyond to doing the bare minimum. You do just enough not to get fired! It may show up as you missing deadlines, coming in later than usual, taking extra days off and using your vacation more frequently, or not responding to emails as quick as you used to. You move into a robotic state because you are simply not motivated.

Being in the wrong career does not affect just you. It begins to impact those around you-your children, your spouse and your friends. They all can tell you are not ok and not living your best life. Also, you become accustomed to the toxic environment and all the negative that comes with it. It becomes your new normal and you don’t even realize that you are losing a bit of your soul everyday. 

Take an inventory of your career satisfaction and fulfillment. Do you dread going to work? Does your job suck your energy or give you energy? Know the signs of being unhappy in your career and also understand how it is impacting you. It is never too late to make a change. If you need help navigating your career and your next move, please reach out.

Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.

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