Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Time to Leave

Jobs absorb so much of life that one shouldn't put up with a job from hell. No matter what the situation, if the best description of your job is "stress," then you are long overdue for a change. According to Dory Hollander, author of "The Doom-Loop System," staying stressed out on a job you don't like will surely reduce your performance and turn you against your employer and fellow workers.

"People think the time to leave is when things become unbearable, or is somehow related to the time you've been there. It's not," says Hollander. "Actually, the longer you stay on an unsatisfying job, the more likely it is you will lose confidence in your ability to do anything else."

One of the most unpleasant aspects of hating your job is that it always shows. No matter how well-regarded your work is once was, if you develop a reputation as a depressing crank, your fellow workers will distance themselves. The isolation tends to make the situation even worse. You get angrier and angrier. Worse, you feel like hell. Unhappiness undermines your health. Stress can really wring you out with stomach aches, headaches and insomnia. At that point, it is way beyond time to leave. In fact, you may be scaring your employer. At this stage, it is time to put a job search into high gear because you are on thin ice. And, it is always better to leave on your own terms than to be fired.

For those who are convinced a job is just a job and it will always be a pain to work, Hollander says she understands, but believes there are ways of remaining psychologically healthy, even on a job you dislike.

"See your job as a funding source for what you want to do next," she states. "Do what's required and do it as quickly as you can, then network with those who can give you the growth you need for the next job."

For most of us, work is a necessity. Health is also a necessity. The goal is to get a job you can live with--otherwise a stressful job can make you wish you were dead.

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