My Job Was Killing Me
Some days I would rather walk on hot lava than go to work. Have you been there? Have you ever worked in a job that seems like you will never get anything right? How many times have you literally felt like your job was killing you? I loved my career, but my job was literally robbing me of my life and taking me from my family.
That’s right, a place that will fill my position before the coroner ever reports my death to the state was killing me.
Even before I set my alarm every night, my heart would race just thinking about the next workday. Then, I would snooze more times than I could count, and count the hours until I could just go to sleep so I wouldn’t have to think about work. The only saving grace I had at work was the handful of coworkers that were genuine to me. Now let me pause here because I absolutely do not go to work to make friends … but I expect to, at minimum, receive basic respect. Unfortunately, many working moms are experiencing this. Even more unfortunate are the responses we receive when we express this to friends and families.
Unless we work in a field that requires exposure to hazardous materials or contagious diseases, the chances that our work might directly kill us are fairly low. However, a toxic work environment can change that.
In the past, you found a “good job” and just stayed there until retirement. This made sense in the past when jobs were scarce, and women were just entering the workforce. It turns out the Women’s’ Rights Movement didn’t factor in work-life balance for working moms. In theory, women were not asking to be overworked, but rather asking for the opportunity to choose where they work. This should not have come at the cost of choosing your children or work. Sadly, many jobs literally expect just this.
Recently, I had to leave a toxic work environment not only for my personal mental health but also for the sake of saving my family.
Fortunately for me, I have a support system that allowed me to walk away. Thankfully, after eight months, I did return to work in a much better and family-friendly environment. However, I do realize this is not the case for all.
If you find yourself in this situation, just know that you are not alone! I also encourage you to seek out the resources available to you to get support and help. Remember quitting is better than your family planning your funeral. I almost missed this and nearly lost myself and my family. Don’t let this be you.
Resources for dealing with a toxic work environment:
- Use the company’s internal complaint process
- File a formal complaint with the S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Follow your state’s guidelines for reporting a hostile work environment
- If necessary, seek legal counsel