Working is killing me

We all get tired and stressed from work and we all definitely have our bad days and even bad jobs, but I am finding as time goes on I am coping less and less with work.

I have recently moved jobs due to numerous issues at my last place of work, but I am finding that I am constantly run down, fatigued, stressed and just generally feel unwell as a result of working.  I am in my early thirties and I know we slow down and get tired with age, but I feel ill - not just tired.

My mental health is strained, I am suffering with anxiety and possibly depression, GI issues, skin complaints, respiratory problems, migraines, fatigue, muscles cramps/pain, joint pain, general illnesses etc etc.

Packing my job in is not an option as I have bills to pay, but I also want to work and like having purpose and responsibility - I just wish it didn't take so much out of me.

I have been looking at career changes, but at the moment I cannot financially afford the risks and even then I am not really sure what I could do that would alleviate these health issues.

Most people seem to breeze through life (ok slightly over dramatic) and get a weeks work done without a hitch and then make the most of the weekend.  I spend my weekends and evenings a wreck, just trying to recover to start again.  Are other people like this and just hide it better or is it me?

If I have to work until my late 60s until I retire, I am starting to think I won't make it anywhere near retirement at this rate.

Parents
  • Hi Starbuck (a Moby D i c k reference, I wonder?)

    I'm 59 now, so only have just under 8 years to go.  Did I say 'only'?  I've had many career changes - if you can really call them careers.  Office bod, driver, shop worker, salesman, Civil Servant, a stint at home-working self-employment - and now, care support worker.  Over my working lifetime, my average time in a job is around 7 months - anything from 6 years to 2 weeks.  In most cases, I've reached the stage where it sounds like you are now: stressed, anxious, sick.  There have been many reasons.  Pressure of work.  Boredom.  But principally, I think, it's been to do with the other people I'm working with.  Wherever I've worked, there have been cliques that I've never been a part of (nor wanted to be).  There have been people who are slackers, letting everyone else carry them.  There have been people who are sloppy and careless, and who don't seem to take any pride in what they do.  There have been the numbskulls who've tended to end up with high praise and promotions.  At worst, there have been bullies.

    If you're like me, you like to do a job properly - no matter how mundane it is, or how much you dislike it.  You take a sense of pride in it, even if it's just filing papers or cleaning the loos.  So when I see people who don't take the same sense of responsibility - who don't seem to care one way or the other, or are happy for others to take up their slack - it gets to me.  I take it home with me.  It keeps me awake at night.  It, eventually, grinds me down.  I'm at that stage now in my current job.  I've been there a year - long enough to realise that there's an 'in-group' of colleagues, centering around the deputy manager, who can basically do what they like.  The deputy herself is there more by virtue of qualifications than proficiency.  With no disrespect to the young (I work with some excellent people in their teens), she's in her early 20s.  She's inexperienced.  And she simply doesn't have the right attitude to be a manager.  In fact, she slacks herself - so the others around her play by example.  Some of the other staff have given up on covering everyone elses' backs and are starting to be indifferent, too.  Apathy and low morale abound.  Important jobs aren't getting done.  Health and Safety, Infection Control and Food Safety precautions are routinely flouted.  People don't bother with mandatory paperwork.  People spend more time on social media than they do interacting with the service users.  It drives me to despair.  I have to get out - before I simply go sick and play it out so I never go back.  I don't want that to happen.  I'm applying for other jobs.  I'm trying to keep my hopes up.

    None of which is much help to you, I'm afraid.  It might make you feel even more despondent.  Try not to let it, though.  Just as I've usually managed to find my way through, and get the break when I most needed it, so hopefully will you.  When I switched into care work, it meant a substantial drop in salary.  It came at the time of my divorce, too, and when I had a mortgage to pay.  I moved out when I took on the new job.  Until we sold the bungalow, I was paying half the mortgage on that, plus all my rent and bills for the bedsit I moved into.  It was a tough time - not least because I was getting used to an entirely new job.  It was touch and go money-wise for a time there.  But I had to make the choice between carrying on and breaking down, or finding an alternative.  It's never easy, of course.  Are there any adjustments you can make - even if they're tiny - to facilitate some kind of downscaling?  In the end, I found that to be the only answer.  In real terms, I'm earning less now than I've ever earned.  But I'm managing better.  If I can just change this current job soon, it'll be good.  At the bottom of the scale - on minimum wage - at least any change shouldn't leave me financially worse off.

    I think, if many people were honest, they don't find life a breeze at all.  All the happy photos on social media don't show the truth of people's lives.  Many of us - ND or NT - struggle.  Some of us just find it harder to keep the struggle going, because we're working with our condition to contend with as well.

    All the best,

    Tom

Reply
  • Hi Starbuck (a Moby D i c k reference, I wonder?)

    I'm 59 now, so only have just under 8 years to go.  Did I say 'only'?  I've had many career changes - if you can really call them careers.  Office bod, driver, shop worker, salesman, Civil Servant, a stint at home-working self-employment - and now, care support worker.  Over my working lifetime, my average time in a job is around 7 months - anything from 6 years to 2 weeks.  In most cases, I've reached the stage where it sounds like you are now: stressed, anxious, sick.  There have been many reasons.  Pressure of work.  Boredom.  But principally, I think, it's been to do with the other people I'm working with.  Wherever I've worked, there have been cliques that I've never been a part of (nor wanted to be).  There have been people who are slackers, letting everyone else carry them.  There have been people who are sloppy and careless, and who don't seem to take any pride in what they do.  There have been the numbskulls who've tended to end up with high praise and promotions.  At worst, there have been bullies.

    If you're like me, you like to do a job properly - no matter how mundane it is, or how much you dislike it.  You take a sense of pride in it, even if it's just filing papers or cleaning the loos.  So when I see people who don't take the same sense of responsibility - who don't seem to care one way or the other, or are happy for others to take up their slack - it gets to me.  I take it home with me.  It keeps me awake at night.  It, eventually, grinds me down.  I'm at that stage now in my current job.  I've been there a year - long enough to realise that there's an 'in-group' of colleagues, centering around the deputy manager, who can basically do what they like.  The deputy herself is there more by virtue of qualifications than proficiency.  With no disrespect to the young (I work with some excellent people in their teens), she's in her early 20s.  She's inexperienced.  And she simply doesn't have the right attitude to be a manager.  In fact, she slacks herself - so the others around her play by example.  Some of the other staff have given up on covering everyone elses' backs and are starting to be indifferent, too.  Apathy and low morale abound.  Important jobs aren't getting done.  Health and Safety, Infection Control and Food Safety precautions are routinely flouted.  People don't bother with mandatory paperwork.  People spend more time on social media than they do interacting with the service users.  It drives me to despair.  I have to get out - before I simply go sick and play it out so I never go back.  I don't want that to happen.  I'm applying for other jobs.  I'm trying to keep my hopes up.

    None of which is much help to you, I'm afraid.  It might make you feel even more despondent.  Try not to let it, though.  Just as I've usually managed to find my way through, and get the break when I most needed it, so hopefully will you.  When I switched into care work, it meant a substantial drop in salary.  It came at the time of my divorce, too, and when I had a mortgage to pay.  I moved out when I took on the new job.  Until we sold the bungalow, I was paying half the mortgage on that, plus all my rent and bills for the bedsit I moved into.  It was a tough time - not least because I was getting used to an entirely new job.  It was touch and go money-wise for a time there.  But I had to make the choice between carrying on and breaking down, or finding an alternative.  It's never easy, of course.  Are there any adjustments you can make - even if they're tiny - to facilitate some kind of downscaling?  In the end, I found that to be the only answer.  In real terms, I'm earning less now than I've ever earned.  But I'm managing better.  If I can just change this current job soon, it'll be good.  At the bottom of the scale - on minimum wage - at least any change shouldn't leave me financially worse off.

    I think, if many people were honest, they don't find life a breeze at all.  All the happy photos on social media don't show the truth of people's lives.  Many of us - ND or NT - struggle.  Some of us just find it harder to keep the struggle going, because we're working with our condition to contend with as well.

    All the best,

    Tom

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