Sunday, January 15, 2012

Do you like your job?

It’s Sunday night, and I always feel low on Sunday night. I have to go back to work tomorrow.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not big on Facebook, but I check it out enough to see plenty of comments from friends who dread going to work. One friend made the comment that 90 percent of the people she knows hate their jobs.
That is sad. That is depressing. We spend so much of our time at jobs. To be unhappy with the job affects a large chunk of life.
I don’t quite understand my own feelings, because the job I have is probably my favorite of any I’ve ever had.
I write, take photographs, ask people questions. I learn new things and meet interesting people. I get to do a variety of things, because I also help with layout and editing, and I update the website.
What gives?
Sometimes I do feel bored. After working for a weekly community newspaper for a while, I sometimes feel like I’ve already done this story, I’ve already taken these pictures. Just different names, different faces.
And the writing that I do is not what I would choose on my own. It’s what I have to do.
I wonder if some of my waning interest in my job has to do with the anxiety I’ve been feeling about writing. It has gotten worse over the last six months or so.
I dread starting a piece, and I procrastinate. I feel uptight as I write, worried about every word.
Being accurate and fair are the most important things in writing for the newspaper. I worry a lot about getting something wrong, even though I know I’m making every effort to get it right. And I’ve been complimented by people that I’ve written about (e.g. government officials, law enforcement) that I do a good job.
It reminds me of my agonizing times writing school papers, so afraid that I’d plagiarize, even when I did everything I could to cite everything correctly.
Certainly, dread and anxiety are not fun feelings. Procrastinating and waiting until the last minute only prolongs the agony and pumps up the anxiety.
What I have found recently is that when I just focus on getting it done and doing my best, I seem to feel a little better.
Note: I am still very focused on being accurate and fair, but I’m trying to relax more about the quality of the writing itself.
I still don’t want to go to work, though. I would love to stay home and do my own writing full time. I would also do a lot of volunteer work and do more at home. See, I have it planned out. But that doesn’t seem to be a possibility right now.
Have you ever felt like you should love your job but don’t? What do you do about not wanting to go to work? What effects have OCD or depression had on your working life?


  1. Oh, I hear you - writing papers in college was a brutal exercise for me. I finally (at age 42) graduated with my bachelor's degree a year ago so this is still very fresh in my mind. One of the reasons I chose the accounting/finance degree was because I was under the mistaken notion I would not have to write many papers. Ha! The plagiarism fear drove me bananas. Also, years ago, when my OCD first got really out of control I was working as a secretary typing lots of dictation. I had to keep re-listening to the dictation tapes over and over again because I was convinced I missed something. That was exhausting.

  2. This is very complex.

    When I first started working in the position I am in now, I had panic attacks almost daily, and I had so much anxiety and dread. It eventually subsided, but the anxiety creeps up every now and then. I do not LOVE my job, but it is a career that I am good at and it pays the bills. I often times, as my OCD brain works, will try to overanalyze my love for my job and wonder why I am there and if the feeling of dread will ever go away. Bottom line, it always does. Some weeks I am totally on top of my game and feel like a star in work. Other times, I am feeling like a total slacker, feeling like I am bad at what I do, I get overwhelmed and just feel like I could give up at the drop of a hat. But, this feeling never lasts, and in the mornings on these mornings when I know I will have this kind of day, I go into work and I say, "Today, I will do my best, and that is all that I can do." Anxiety makes everything worse, even a job that you will otherwise just be "ok" with.

    Also, having OCD, I find that I am on autopilot a lot of the time in work. But, somehow I manage to hold it all together...

  3. Another thought... Here are some of the OCD related thoughts that come to my head when I'm at work...

    -What if I write a bad word in an email impulsively? (I have reread emails several times)
    -What if I'm training a class and I blurt out the "N" word?
    -What if I start to treat my boss with disrespect and lose my job?
    -What if I just don't do anything and people start to notice and I get fired and lose my benefits?
    -What if I write the "N" word on my whiteboard over my desk and black people come in my office and see it... (I have left work several times wondering If I have done that).

    Yes, complex... *sigh*

  4. I can't comment from the OCD perspective. I view this from the perspective of a reader who is pleased to know that you are on the newspaper staff. You write well (always a plus). More importantly I feel that I can rely on you for honest and caring reporting. It must be stressful, exciting also, to be covering such a variety of events and to know that participants & public are counting on you to get it right. I trust you to do it better than most & hope you will continue to trust yourself and relax more.

    From Carolyn, the comma-splice queen.

  5. Thank you for your comments! Sunny, I was an English major, so you can imagine how many papers I had to write! I think I'm feeling some of that anxiety with the writing I'm doing now.

    Lolly, I hear you. Some days or even weeks are better than others. I, too, go back and read and reread things I've written to make sure there's nothing there to be worried about.

    Carolyn, Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. I am trying to relax more.

  6. What a nice compliment from Carolyn, one of your readers. Obviously, Tina, you are doing a wonderful job. Sometimes, when I'm feeling a little more rational I think about how someone w/OCD performs a task compared to the average person. I bet a person w/OCD who does something (even when not in an obsessive/compulsive cycle), does it better than an average person, just because of our normal attention to detail. (Not trying to be arrogant here - just trying to be honest.) Would it help you Tina, to think that way about your work? Just know that your "average" work is probably better than most people's "hard" work? I don't know if that makes sense or not. Maybe I'm just rambling . . .

  7. HA! I am so not the right person to ask about loving/hating your job. My last job, my first and only major job after graduating college, sent me into a tailspin due to a terrible, abusive boss who retraumatized me and other unbelievably stressful situations that a person with an anxiety disorder should never have as part of their job description. It was the worst job I could have taken, a perfect storm of triggers. To this day, the idea of putting myself back out there under the power of another possibly terrible boss, or in similar situations, makes me physically ill.

  8. Sunny, Yes, I think it could help me if I know that if I do my best but don't drive myself insane, I'm still probably doing a good job.

    Kat, I am so sorry that you had such a wretched experience. There are some people who should never be bosses, and it sounds like you had one of those. I have had a job in the past that I would starve before I went back to, it was so bad and such an incredibly poor fit for someone with anxiety and depression.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.