Hey internet babes,
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and I’ve been agonising over whether I should talk openly about the issue of psychological well being in the workplace, but I feel this week is providing me the perfect opportunity, so here goes.
I wanna get something super clear before I start; we all go through completely different experiences, so what one person can put up with, another person might not be able to handle. I’ve seen a few excellent mental health posts this week almost shot down because one person doesn’t see their particular situation as severe, or perhaps their vocabulary correct. I just wanted to reassure everyone that no matter what you’re going through, it’s all totally valid and no-one should be telling you otherwise.
Tuesday marked my last day at the second job that I’ve left due to unhappiness, dissatisfaction and ultimately disappointment. I’m dejected, deflated and down. I felt under appreciated, and pressurised and am fully aware it’s a common thing to so many people, but I feel it’s not talked about.
But before I delve into that, let me give you a bit more context. I didn’t make a snap decision; but more a decision based on how said job was affecting my mind and my body. I’ve been in my workplace for almost two years now. I felt underpaid for my duties and undervalued in accordance to the work I was producing. I also experienced subtle and passive forms of bullying; from ignoring to receiving nasty email threads. And the worst part? I got no support. When reporting said antogonisers, I was told that perhaps I should move on from it.
I’m a tough cookie and was able to brush off the silly comments, but the past few months have seen both my mind and body come under strain. I’ve had boughts of illness with severe migraines, I’ve been over eating and at one point I felt so down I felt I couldn’t physically write- my blog has been a place of sanctuary really, where I can jot down my free flow of thoughts.
Although I’m aware that a number of companies have amazing support systems, I do feel like we’re often just the cogs that keep a business churning. I’ve felt more like a number on a staff list than a real person with aspirations and goals. We’re all looking to make our mark on the world and for me, it’s with words. I’ve always been passionate about it and doing blogging as a full time profession for me is amazing- but it’s all gotten a bit too much for me.
I want to stress that I would never have made such a big decision had it not have been for the support system I currently have. Although I don’t have anything permanent lined up, I’m looking to really delve into freelance- I feel like the best thing about living in this world right now is there are so many opportunities. On social media I’m constantly surrounded by absolute girl bosses who’re inspiring me everyday- I’m lucky that I’ve moved back home so don’t have any financial burdens- I’m definitely aware from past experience that simply walking out of a job is not an option!
Work is such a huge part of our lives; we spend more time with colleagues that we often do with family and friends- I do feel like it’s more important than ever that we need to stand up for ourselves in places we give so much of our time to.
Just one example; I remember for International Women’s Day I went on strike for A Day Without a Woman, but I called in sick instead of saying the real reason why I was staying off work- I really regret that. I think you have to pick your battles to make it comfortable for you to be in the working environment, but I feel like an increasing amount of people are so unhappy and have no-one to turn to, or are unsure of the consequences if they speak up for themselves. From unpaid internships to zero hours jobs, a number of us have little to no security when it comes to a job.
If you’re undervalued and unhappy in your job, say something. Talk to a colleague, talk to HR- whoever you feel comfortable with. If it doesn’t help, try focusing on looking to the next challenge- put yourself out there and apply for something that floats your boat more. If you haven’t had much luck, try turning your attention away from the office and onto the things you love, like blogging, photography etc whatever you’re into. Your mind matters, and you have to look after it- you only have one after all.
Tell me about your experiences at work…