How A Bad Job Is Bad For Your Health

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Image credit: photo by S. on Unsplash.

With unemployment rates still sky-high, many think that any job is better than no job. However, a recent Australian labor survey indicates otherwise - that a poor-quality job can be significantly worse for your mental health than no job at all.

[You can read the TIME article on the study here]. The survey, which interviewed 7,000 workers, was conducted by Australian National University to see the effects of employment on individual happiness.

The study found that:

  • Those who were employed were happier than those who were unemployed - unless they were working at an unsatisfying job. Those workers had scores lower than even those of the unemployed.
  • What the study suggests is that work satisfaction may be more important to our happiness than we think.

A poor job is defined in this study as one that is demanding, unstable, thankless, and unfulfilling. There is low control over decision-making and little job security.

It's easy to get burned out in even the most enjoyable line of work, so the toll that unpleasant work can have on one's overall wellbeing can be enormous.

Finding secure, fulfilling work is easier said than done. In a rough economic climate, it may feel impossible. However, the quality of our jobs has a great impact on our well-being.

Learning to shift the way we view our work can help to alleviate some of the daily stress that may result from a poor-quality job.

Focusing on the positive, such as an aspect of the environment or work that you enjoy, can help refocus your perspective. It may not be so easy to think about the positive at work when the copier jams for the fourth time before your lunch break, but its well worth it.

What do you feel? Should job happiness be important, or should work about getting a paycheck?


Stress from work often follows us into our home lives. It can lead to tension in our families, anxiety, and depression. Working with a qualified and experienced therapist can help you to develop ways of coping and addressing this stress. Contact Nassau Guidance & Counseling today at (516) 221-9494 for more information today.

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