How satisfied are you with your job? If the answer is “not very” maybe it’s time to start considering your options. This isn’t for the health of current you, although work related stress has been tied to lowered physical health, but more the mental health of your future self. This is after a study found that peoples mental health is most affected by the feelings they have about toward their job.
“We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s,” said Jonathan Dirlam, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University.
Dirlam conducted a study with Hui Zheng, associate professor of sociology at Ohio State into the affect jobs have early in someones career.
“You don’t have to be near the end of your career to see the health impact of job satisfaction, particularly on your mental health,” Zheng said.
About 15 percent of people were consistently happy at their jobs (nearly 4 on the scale) and about 17 percent were trending upward.
The data was pulled from 6,432 young people in a National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that was run way back in 1979.
Fortunately if you’re in a real dog of a job at the moment the research found that people who started in a low satisfaction job and gradually worked their way up over the years turned out pretty happy and had no adverse health affects.
However people who were in the low job satisfaction group throughout their early careers scored worse on all five of the mental health measures studied, study results showed.
They reported higher levels of depression, sleep problems and excessive worry. They were also more likely to have been diagnosed with emotional problems and scored lower on a test of overall mental health.
If you’re thinking “Jeeze, does anyone even like their job?” the answer is pretty much no. About 15 percent of people were consistently happy at their jobs (nearly 4 on the scale) and about 17 percent were trending upward. About 45 percent of participants had consistently low job satisfaction, while another 23 percent had levels that were trending downward through their early career.
So hey, things can still get better. Don’t stay in a bad situation if you can help it, it’s not just hurting yourself in the present, it’s gonna follow you into the future.