If you’re currently unemployed or in a job that you hate and just need that extra nudge to start your own work from home or other small business opportunity or franchise, look no further than a recent study that shows just how much having the wrong job can negatively affect you―every bit as much or more than being unemployed in fact!
Published in the journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine just this month, the study was conducted by researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra. It followed more than 7,000 participants over a seven-year period to assess whether the benefits of having a job depend on its psychosocial quality, which includes such things as whether an employee has some degree of control at work, demands and complexity, job insecurity and unfair pay. It also examined whether poor quality jobs are associated with better mental health than is unemployment.
The study found that unemployed people who found a job that rated well when it came to the psychosocial parameters enjoyed substantial improvement in their mental health, while those with jobs that did not rate as well reported significant mental health declines, primarily in the form of increased anxiety and/or depression. Even individuals who couldn’t find jobs at all fared much better.
According to the study’s lead author Peter Butterworth, Ph.D., a senior research fellow at the University’s Centre for Mental Health Research, this last finding was the most enlightening of them all, as it seemingly contradicts the large body of research that shows being out of work is associated with a greater risk of mental health problems. “This runs counter to a common belief that any job offers psychological benefits for individuals over the demoralizing effects of unemployment,” he said.
According to this research, the real bottom line is that people with the poorest quality jobs experience the greatest level of decline in mental health over time. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the number of unfavorable working conditions and an employee’s mental health on the job. Given the choice between taking a poor quality or demoralizing job and remaining unemployed, being out of work may be the better option if you want to stay sane. Of course, being unemployed is not exactly a productive or sustainable life strategy.
Thankfully, there is a third option. While owning your own business does come with its own host of stressors, lack of control when you’re the boss and wondering if you’ll be fired tomorrow are not among them.
Isn’t it worth taking another hard look at what being a business owner is all about and then further exploring what’s out there in the way of an established and proven business opportunity or franchise? After all, owning your own business could mean big things for your future―not just financially it would seem, but with regard to your own overall well-being and happiness too.