I read this interesting article yesterday which discusses the results of an Australian survey on how being in a job that makes you unhappy is as stressful as being unemployed. The company found that ”…although mental health improved when people moved out of unemployment into a good job, moving into a poor quality job was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed.”
It got me thinking because I have been in both situations – unhappy job and unemployment – and both made me feel pretty miserable. The different contexts in which these situations occurred though altered the severity of my unhappiness. I’ve been unemployed when I was able to live with my parents so there was no immediate threat to my financial situation or stress levels but I’ve also been unemployed sitting in my old London flat stressing about how I’d pay my next lot of rent and feeling completely helpless. In that situation I HAD to take any old job and it wasn’t a job I was very happy in, however the unhappiness was outweighed by the fact that I had money to pay my bills. That job though was only ever going to be a stop gap whereas the job I was trying to find living with my parents was not.