Is work affecting your mental health? It’s time for a change

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the spotlight is on anxiety and how it can often be overlooked. According to the World Health Organisation, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness worldwide, affecting around 264 million people. Feeling nervous around events like job interviews or public speaking is completely normal but when the issue is ongoing and debilitating, these feelings can develop into something more serious.

But how can we tell the difference between the Sunday Blues’ or a deeper issue with our job?

If your job is causing you stress and anxiety, take some time to consider why this is and if steps can be taken to find a solution.

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of job dissatisfaction and provide you with expert advice on how to navigate a career transition to improve your mental well-being.


MHAW 2023 Mental Health and the Workplace


  1. Acknowledge and Understand Your Unhappiness

Take some time to reflect on what aspects of your current job are causing anxiety and unhappiness. Is it the work environment, lack of growth opportunities, or a mismatch of skills and interests? Identifying the key triggers will help you make informed decisions moving forward. If you decide that a job change is in order, read on to see what you can do.


  1. Assess Your Skills, Interests, and Goals

Before embarking on a job change, reflecting on your achievements so far and your long-term career goals is key. What are you passionate about? What are your strengths and areas for improvement? Identify the roles and industries that align with your values, preferences, and aspirations.


  1. Research and Explore Potential Career Paths

Once you have a clear understanding of your skills, interests, and goals, it’s time to research and explore potential career paths. Use online resources, your professional network and consider contacting a recruiter who can offer insight into different industries and job roles that are perfectly suited to you.


  1. Develop New Skills and Expand Your Network

Transitioning to a new position or industry often requires acquiring new skills. Identify any skill gaps you need to bridge to get to your goal and consider attending workshops or online courses to enhance your skill set. Additionally, actively networking with professionals in your desired field can open doors to new opportunities.


  1. Make a Plan

Before making the leap, develop a well-thought-out transition plan. Assess your financial situation and determine how long you can sustain yourself during the transition period if needed. Set realistic timelines and milestones for achieving your career change goals. Breaking down the process into manageable steps will make the transition less daunting and help you stay motivated.


  1. Update Your CV and Evaluate Your Online Presence

Tailor your CV to highlight relevant skills and experiences that align with your desired job role. Also, ensure your LinkedIn profile and other social platforms are private or suitable for an employer’s eyes – they might look at them! Reach out to a recruiter who can offer guidance on structuring your CV to match the job advert.


  1. Seek Guidance and Support

Changing jobs can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Especially when we lose out on a dream opportunity or feel anxious ahead of an interview, it can take a real toll on our mental health. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance and support. Consider reaching out to career coaches, recruiters, or people close to you who have gone through similar experiences. Their insights and advice can provide valuable perspective and motivation throughout your job search journey.


Is work affecting your mental health It's time for a change Office Building


What can Businesses do to Retain and Support Staff?

Regular check-ins with employees and good resource management is essential to making sure staff feel respected and don’t burnout. Conducting audits on factors like company culture, staff retention and brand reputation can highlight any weak points in your business. If an employee does hand in their notice, consider an Exit Interview to understand if there was a deeper reason for their decision. This is a great learning opportunity and a chance to improve. On the other hand, retention tactics such as counter-offering are famously a bad idea if their reason for moving is around mental well-being. Holding employees back from new opportunities is a red flag when it comes to staff retention and can signal a toxic company culture.


Settling into a new role can be a transformative experience when it alleviates the anxiety and unhappiness you may have faced in your old work situation. Prioritising your mental health and taking steps towards a more fulfilling career can lead to long-term happiness and well-being. Remember, you have the power to shape your professional journey, so embrace change and pursue a path that brings you joy, fulfilment, and peace of mind.


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