Dr. Bob doesn’t think you should be stressed. He thinks you should have a flower, made from a napkin.
In fact, here you go:
He’s also had a few
glasses bottles of wine here, which is a psychologist approved way of dealing with work stress. I suggest you simply hit up the red before dealing with after hours work stuff, and you’ll be fine. In fact, you won’t even remember working.
Hmm. Dr. Bob has suggested that drunk texting your boss is not the best idea. Let’s move on to his (actually psychologist approved) advice:
Dear Dr. Bob,
At my job, I’m expected to be “on” 24/7. I have to answer emails very quickly after they come in, even after or before working hours unless I have a very valid excuse (being on a plane, at a doctor’s appointment). I wake up stressed out that I’ve already missed something. At dinner with friends, I’m constantly checking my phone. I’ve tried to speak to my boss about it, but he says this is just what the world is like these days, and if I don’t want to be available, he can find easily find someone that does. Is there anything I can do, or is this just the way the world is now?
What you need to know is that you have choices and are, in fact, making choices, even when it doesn’t feel like it. It sounds like you have a desirable job, in a competitive arena, in a place you want to be. You have chosen that job. It comes with a price. You continue to choose that job, now even more full well knowing the price. To then complain about it is what the existentialists call “bad faith.”A useful exercise for you would be to make a list of what you like about the job and the life amenities it provides for you. Think broadly. For example, if you live in the city, what do you enjoy about living in the city? Do you get to travel because you have disposable income from your job? Do you enjoy being able to be by the sea, or walk in the park? Do you have a partner that also works in the same area that you want to be with? Sit down and spend 20 minutes jotting down whatever you can brainstorm as to what you get or get to do that having your job creates the possibility of. Then fold up that sheet and put it in your pocket for a week, and whenever you think of something, or see something, or experience something, or remember something, write it down. At the end of this inventory you should be able to make a better informed assessment of the benefits versus the costs of your current situation.Money may very well be the least of your considerations, which is somewhat counterintuitive. For the past decade or so psychologists have been doing more research on the relationship between money and happiness. It turns out, there isn’t much of one, except in the case of extreme poverty. The NY Times recently had an article
(one of many) that provided a nice summary.In therapy, it might be helpful to have you stay with your “stuckness,” to wallow in it. Ultimately you would either become unstuck and feel good about your job, or decide to do something else instead. It’s about awareness, and making conscious rather than unconscious decisions about that you want.
Another consideration is to find balance between your future goals and your present happiness/job satisfaction. Is your job a stepping stone to something better? Are there alternative paths to getting there? One of my favorite psychologists, Phil Zimbardo, describes how we put our energies to varying degrees into the past, present or future. (You can assess how you divide up your energies in time by taking a free assessment at his website) . He notes that successful people put a lot of energy into the future, sometimes at a cost of hedonistically enjoying the present. But it’s having fun now that energizes you towards moving forward. You need to find the balance that works for you.
My initial reaction to your question was “just get another job.” But in reality your question is deceptively complex and touches upon much of what is meaningful and important in our lives. Take your time and make a decision that is right for you.