By Brian McKay
48 hours is never enough time to get your soul back. Sundays might involve a little dread that it soon starts all over again and that movie you’re watching might just be a little less enjoyable. Monday mornings probably see you running around and thinking, “Ugh, another Monday.” In the United States, getting a case of the Monday blues is pretty normal as we work harder and longer hours than most other countries. Work we do, paychecks we need and persevere we must.
There is a point where the line is crossed and it becomes time to move on.
When the small amount of dread turns into uncontrollable anxiety, exhaustion or depression, it is time to go. The normal Sunday night of “ugh tomorrow is Monday” has become an inability to stop worrying that destroys your entire evening. Monday mornings now feel like near physical illness. 48 hours wasn’t really enough time before but now it feels like even a month might not be enough time.
When this point is reached, other life activities suffer. Your doctor might have your medicine cabinet looking like the local pharmacy and it all still doesn’t go away. Well now your job is officially killing you. Get ready to leave.
Transcending the normal Monday dread far into the realm of anxiety and worry just to get a paycheck is an extremely bad trade off. Sure, survival is nice, but without your health it is utterly meaningless. The longer this stress is allowed to carry on, the more harmful it becomes and the more oppressive it feels. Small tasks can become harder to pull off and coming home from work might just become a path to going straight to bed. Get out now.
As focus on the daily necessities required to take care of yourself becomes harder, it can seem impossible to even begin to navigate job postings filled with convoluted requirements. The longer you stay in your job, the harder it seems.’
Start small. Promise yourself one application every other day to a position that grabs your attention. Don’t sweat the overly complex job descriptions. If it seems like you are even a moderate fit, apply. If the pay is a little less, ask yourself if you can survive with less in order to be happy again and get your soul back.
Having talked to many people that have left toxic companies for happier work environments, even when for less pay, the changes to them are always amazing to see. When life returned to them they felt it and were empowered to soul search, enjoy again and get their health back. Ever notice that a friend that left a job that was killing her now smiles again and has lost 20 lbs.?
It’s your turn. Start envisioning a new you in a new job. Fill out an application every other day to start. Tell friends you are ready to move on and ask them if they know of any positions. Small steps.
Being demoralized and stressed out can negatively impact your own self-image. When you can’t see what is glorious and special about you, marketing yourself to a new employer can be extremely hard. Don’t hesitate to ask friends or co-workers to describe you. They see what’s special in you during a period when you don’t. Write down their positive responses and use them in your cover letter.
Write a resignation letter. Hit the word processor and say everything you have been thinking about that which is destroying your soul. While it is highly advisable to never actually use this letter, you now have something you can read every week and remind yourself that you are working towards leaving.
You can do this and get your health back. Recognize now that is time to quit and start getting ready to leave.
Discuss and zenrupt.
Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption and has his MBA from Boise State University. His stressful days are often mitigated with boxes of sugary candy. The resignation letter on his laptop was written 3 months ago.