In this economy, it might feel like putting in a 12-hour work day and putting up with belittling bosses and obnoxious co-workers is the only way to achieve job security. But at what cost?
According to a recent article on the Huffington Post, workplace burnout is becoming pandemic — especially in woman under 30.
You don’t have to become another blog statistic. Just learn the signs that you’re about to explode into a giant pile of disgruntled employee goo and back away from that cubicle.
Here are 7 tell-tale signs you have a problem:
1. You spent last weekend making a voodoo doll of your boss
Put down the pins. Everybody has had to deal with a bad boss at one point in their life, but there’s no need to resort to supernatural forces in order to vent you frustrations. If your boss routinely belittles you, throws you under the bus, overloads you with work, or commits any other number of terrible offenses, it’s time to let him know (respectfully) how you’re feeling. If you can’t get through to him, it might be time to visit HR to vent your frustrations.
2. You leave anonymous, passive-aggressive notes on the coffee machine to the person who refuses to brew a new pot after finishing off the old one.
OK, annoying co-workers are a dime a dozen. They eat reheated fish sandwiches at their desks for lunch. They have loud fights with their spouses over the phone at least three times a week. They corner you in the break room to rehash, minute-by-minute, last night’s episode of “So You Think You Can Dance.” While it’s tempting to confront them on their petty annoyances, your bad attitude can be just as toxic to the workplace. Rather then getting hung up on all of their quirks, try to keep your sense of humor and remind yourself that they’re only human. And if you get to a point during your week when you just can’t take it any more – try leaving the office for your coffee break.
3. Your keyboard both clicks and crunches from all crumbs it’s collected as a result of your eating lunch at your desk every … single … day.
Not only might you be that obnoxious loud-chewing co-worker who eats stinky food at their desk all the time, but you’re also foregoing a much-needed break in the middle of your work day. Instead of subjecting your poor computer and colleagues to more food-borne abuse, get out of your cubicle for a half hour. Eat with a friendly co-worker in the break room or, heaven forbid, leave the office for a little fresh air. The time away will allow you to recharge and help you make it until 5 o’clock.
4. You regularly turn your socks inside out to get a second wear out of them because you don’t have time to do laundry after your 14-hour workday.
OK first off, that’s just gross. The stench you’re emitting might be the reason your co-workers all crowd at one end of the conference table during morning meetings. But secondly, you’re working too much. Putting in long hours from time to time might gain you some brownie points from your boss, but doing it day after day will only contribute to major burnout. You need to find a work-life balance that allows you an hour or two to wash your skivvies every week, as well as socialize with friends or develop a hobby. If you’re unable to handle the workload, it might be time to look at how efficiently you’re spending your time at work or to ask your boss to develop more realistic expectations for your time.
5. The only dates you’ve been on in the past six months were with your chiropractor.
If your fingers are numb, your back is aching, your eyes are dry and you get regular headaches, it’s definitely time to step away from the cubicle. Repetitive stress from hours spent in front of a computer without a break can have long-term health effects, including weak muscles, sore eyes and depression, according to an article on ninmsn.com. Health experts recommend workers take a break from the computer screen once every half hour. Maybe during that break you can chat up that hottie over in accounting about going on a real date.
6. The closest thing to a vacation you’ve had in the past three years was the tropical island scene on your screen saver.
Sure you might get to cash out on all those unused vacation days when you finally get a new job, but how much of your sanity will you have left? For the love of god, take a week off. According to Psychology Today, chronic stress affects your body’s ability to fight infection, maintain vital functions, and get enough sleep. Not to mention the mental toll it takes resulting in irritability, depression and anxiety. A vacation allows you to step away from your day-to-day stress, recharge, and re-connect with your family or friends. So go find yourself a nice palm tree or two — preferably with a hammock.
7. You were passed over (again) for a promotion by the summer intern.
Being stuck at the bottom of the totem pole is never a good feeling — especially if you devote extra time and energy to doing your job well. So if you just can’t seem to get ahead at your job, no matter how hard you work, it might be time to move on. Look for a company that might value your contributions more, consider a new career path, or go back to school to brush up on your skills. Life’s too short not to be doing what you love and getting paid for it.