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Resigning from a job because of stress

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Resigning from a job because of stress
March 10, 2019 1st Anniversary Wishes No comments

Before you turn in your resignation, learn how to protect yourself if you represents employees, check out the National Employment Lawyers.

That appointment where I decided to quit my job

At each of my CF clinic appointments, this is what happens:

  • I have my height and weight checked
  • I do spirometry (lung function) tests to check how the volume and speed at which you can move air out of your lungs
  • I see a dietician
  • I see a physiotherapist
  • And finally, I see a specialist Cystic Fibrosis consultant

My lung function tests have always been strong and something that I’ve been really proud of. They’ve been consistently above 100%.

What does that mean?

100% is average for someone in the general (non-CF) population of my age, gender, height and weight. So I was consistently above average. That’s great considering CF is a condition that really severely affects the lungs. Through most of my childhood and early adulthood, some of my results have even peaked above 120%.

When you have a chronic condition affecting the lungs, it’s expected that your results will fall over time as you incur lung damage. Thanks to consistent hard work, mine had stayed reasonably consistent and I felt reasonably invincible.

A big wake up call came for me a couple of years ago when, for the first time, one of my results dipped below 100%. It was an anomaly. Perhaps I’d been ill at the time. But then this year, it dipped below 100 once again, and then again. (Side note for anyone wondering: I did flag this to my managers at work, and explained the time-intensive protocol for turning things around).

So, back to this appointment. I wasn’t feeling confident. The stress of the last couple of months worried me because CF is a condition characterised by chronic inflammation, and stress causes inflammation.

First lung function test of 8. I hardly cleared 80%. Fuck.

Next one. Bit better, not by much. Fuck.*

Attempt 4. Half way. Still in the 80s. I announce to my mum and a slightly out-of-her-depth Respiratory Physiologist, ‘if I don’t hit 90%, I’m quitting my job on Monday’.

Attempt 8. 89%.

I felt really relieved. Upset for a lot of reasons, too. But above all, I knew that a big factor in my lung function decline was my lifestyle, and I’d just taken the first (terrifying) step towards fixing it. I actually felt kind of calm. For a while, I’d had the looming thought that at some point I might have to seriously start thinking about leaving my job. But when I saw that result, my gut instinct made the decision for me.

Can you feel my relief? I literally felt my shoulders relax as I wrote that.

But then, just as quickly as I had made that decision and started to feel in control of my life again, I was hit by a bus. Not literally.

It was time to see the consultant. Having reviewed my lung function results alongside a recent scan, he was recommending intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Aggressive ones that would feel as bad as chemotherapy. For up to 3 months. With 18 months of follow up treatments. There’s a good chance they’d make me feel unable to exercise, eat well or sleep properly - all of the things that have kept me well for 27 years. He suggested perhaps I might not want to leave my job because employment stability may be beneficial (and, let’s be honest, statutory sick pay would be handy).

See how this all started to just feel really shitty again?

So I cried at him. And a nurse. And someone else that came into the room. I can’t even remember who she was (but I remember she had great hair).

I don’t really remember what happened after that. Probably someone came to do some blood tests. I probably had prescription items to collect. But what I do remember, is that once I had that gut instinct to leave my job and focus on my health, the idea of staying actually felt worse. That’s how I knew I was making the right decision.

I will never ever go down without a fight. So the thought of working to the point that I end up in hospital (sick pay or no), was not an option.

I discussed it with my family and my doctors (though my mind was pretty much already made): if there’s even a chance that by quitting my job and focusing all of my energy on my health, I can avoid being pumped full of horrendous, debilitating chemicals, I’m going to fucking take it.

So that is what I did. I quit.

On Monday morning I spoke to HR. That day was so full of anxiety, but also full of hope.

There were people who cried when I handed in my notice. Me included. It was a shitty situation. But I had to stay strong, commit to my decision, and trust that it would work out for the best.

Well, it has.

I’m not out of the woods yet, but things are better.

In my first week away from an office, I worked out 8 times and I did all of my treatments. After 2 weeks, my lung function was back over 90%. A month later, it was up again. I'm still not at the 100% mark, but that’s what I’m aiming for next. Actually, if I’m aiming for something, let’s make it 110%.

I still might need that hideous treatment, though. I will have repeat lung function tests and a repeat scan in January and after that, after I’ve given it my best shot, if the doctors still recommend IVs, I’ll do it. Albeit probably a little reluctantly.

What am I doing now?

I knew that I needed a job that was a little more flexible. I love working and I love having a project. I work hard and passionately, but I also need the ability to work flexibly to keep my health in check. So, I’m doing what I love as a freelancer.

My first freelance role is as Chief Marketing Officer for an amazing company called Pactster who create online workouts specially designed for specific health conditions. One of those conditions is Cystic Fibrosis, so it perfectly suits my background in marketing, my passion for health, and my expert knowledge in that niche.

I’m also taking on other marketing consultancy work with small brands in the health and fitness sector, doing some freelance writing, finally taking my personal training course with No1 Fitness Education and I have a few other exciting things in the pipeline, too.

And of course, I’m back to blogging. After almost a year of being dormant (sorry! And also, thank you for your support during that time) I can’t wait to share with you a heap of insights on how to live healthier. There's lots lined up.

To mark this new era, I’ve also transitioned to NatalieJohanna.com. Welcome! My social media handles have also changed, so you’ll now find me at @_nataliejohanna on Twitter and Instagram.

I am so excited for life right now. I have had so many bombs dropped, major changes of plan and new opportunities over the last few months, and I’m so lucky to have had unwavering support from the people around me.

It hasn’t always been easy as I’ve ventured into the unknown but I feel so calm about it. I have no idea what the next couple of months will hold but I can’t bloody wait.

In summary:

  • If you do not make time for better health now, you will have to make time for illness later. With this in mind, I quit my job with a major marketing agency to take control of my health
  • I loved my job but the stress and long hours weren’t sustainable for me alongside managing Cystic Fibrosis. In the last few months, I was sobbing on the phone to my parents and frequently going to bed without eating or doing any of my medical treatments because I was mentally exhausted by thought of them
  • I made the final decision to quit my job when my lung function declined. During the lung function tests at my CF clinic appointment I decided ‘if I don’t hit 90%, I’m quitting my job on Monday’. 89%
  • Now, my health is on it’s way back up, and I’ve decided that the a more flexible lifestyle is my best shot at keeping it there. With amazing experience behind me and a whole lot of passion, I’m now working as a freelance marketing consultant and writer. I’m qualifying as a personal trainer, and my blog is back up and running. Say hello to nataliejohanna.com!

Disclaimer:I don’t usually swear this much. I actually feel kind of bad about it. But hey, I’m just being honest - that's what was going on in my head throughout a very turbulent few months. Profanities within my vocabulary have now subsided again.

The job itself was quite stressful and I was losing sleep due to staying . after resigning myself to the fact that my dream job was just a dream.

How to Quit a Toxic Work Environment

resigning from a job because of stress

Her job was killing her. “Someone was always on top of me,” says Nicole Faith, who worked for one of the many Internet companies in the city.

“I have no problem being accountable for what I do,” says the 26-year-old. But even when she was working from home, she felt that there was always someone hovering over her on the chat screen, wanting to know her every move. Never mind the office politics.

“I had regular panic attacks, felt like I would faint at any moment walking down the street and was always on the verge of tears,” she says, adding that, “the job literally made me sick — my health had gotten to a point that was unlivable, unworkable and a mess.”

So she quit her job to save her life.

It may sound a bit dramatic, but Jeffery Pfeffer, a Stanford professor and author of “Dying for a Paycheck” (Harper Business), says that toxic workplace practices — micromanagement, fear of layoffs, long or unpredictable working hours and making people feel as if they are not good enough — is the fifth leading cause of death, in front of Alzheimer’s and kidney disease.

“People stay in jobs that are unhealthy for them, which cause stress.,” he says. “That often leads to smoking, drinking, overeating, not sleeping and dying.”
Pfeffer’s book is a call to action that companies need to change and that individuals, when they are in workplaces that are overridden with stress, need to quit.

He likens a toxic workplace to a room filling up with smoke. “You don’t say, ‘I can’t leave’ when your house is on fire. If your job is killing you, even if you are worried about how you are going to pay your bills, you need to go.”

Unlike Faith, workers don’t usually do that of their own volition. What happens more often than not, according to Pfeffer, is that a loved one intervenes and says, “You can’t go on like this.”

That’s what happened to former JPMorgan Chase executive Alexander Lowry. At one time, working on Wall Street was his dream. And although he climbed the ranks of the firm quickly,, by four and a half years in, he was done.

“Putting in as many as 100 hours per week was doing me in,” he says. Not only that, but his fiancée pointed out that his work ethic wasn’t consistent with the life and the family they wanted to build.

“There are five big buckets that you have in life: family, finances [your job], friends, fitness and faith,” he says, noting that the “job bucket” was getting a disproportionate amount of his time and energy. And while it was important, it wasn’t the only significant thing in his life.

Lowry doesn’t see his time at JPMorgan Chase as a bad choice. “Careers have seasons,” he says. He and his wife have since relocated to the north shore of Massachusetts and have a daughter whom they can now enjoy together. He has also launched a one-year master’s program in financial analysis at nearby Gordon College.

Career coach Amy Alpert of South Orange, NJ, says that not everyone makes transitions so seamlessly, but workers should put the work treadmill on pause once in a while — preferably, before there’s a problem — and ask themselves questions such as: What quality of life do I want? How do I work best? Where do I work best? When do I work best?

“Not a lot of people have stopped to think about that,” she says, adding that there are no stock answers. “Everyone needs to work with their own situation and their own personality.”

That’s exactly what Faith did, but perhaps a little less formally.

“At first I looked for a new job and did some freelancing in web design,” she says. Working with entrepreneurs, she discovered that they needed more help than just design — they actually needed their online businesses to be built for them. To fill that need, she developed 10CaratCreations.com, from which she now makes a comfortable living. Faith has also become a “digital nomad,” someone whose job is Internet-based, which allows her to travel and work from anywhere in the world.

Faith feels good about her choices.

“I don’t think anyone should put their health on the back burner to collect a paycheck. We all deserve to be respected and healthy,” she says.

Is job stress killing you? Here’s what the experts recommend:

Speak up sooner rather than later
“Don’t let things get to the point where you’re compelled to run into your boss’ office and scream, ‘I can’t take this anymore,’ ” says Alpert. When there’s a problem, Alpert recommends approaching your manager with alternatives that work for you and still get the job done. Position it as: “Here’s my idea. What do you think?”

Take care of yourself
Don’t work an unsustainable schedule, skip vacation or miss spending time with family and friends. “These things buffer the effects of stress,” says Pfeffer.

It’s not just about you
“Job-related stress kills families and marriages,” says Elisabeth Goldberg, a Flatiron-based licensed marriage and family therapist. “If you get shut down at work, don’t shut down at home. If you are a partner, listen.”

Before you accept a job offer, ask about quality of life
“Ask about things that matter to you,” says Alpert. “Find out whether you are expected to answer texts on weekends or at night.” Or, if you want flexibility during the workday, let your manager know that you don’t mind logging on at night provided you can take some time off during the day. “Often these things can be worked out on a case-by-case basis,” she says

Work for an employer who values health and well-being
“Work is more than money, and money cannot completely undo damage to relationships or physical or mental health,” says Pfeffer.

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Are You Stressed out at Work but Too Afraid to Quit Your Job?

resigning from a job because of stress

Resigning might feel like a good option if you’re being treated badly at work. However, it’s a big step and it’s important to think about all your options first. You could try to solve the problem a different way or find another job before resigning. If you decide to resign, there are steps you should follow to do it properly.

Check if there's another way to solve the problem

It’s worth thinking about whether you’d want to stay in your job if the problem was solved. You might be able to get your employer to put things right without having to resign.

You could try:

  • talking to your employer about the problem
  • asking your trade union to talk to your employer for you, if you’re a member
  • raising a grievance - this is a formal complaint which your employer can’t ignore
  • asking your employer if they’ll arrange mediation - this is where someone else tries to help you agree
  • starting early conciliation to solve the problem without going to court

Find out what to do next if you think you could try other options before resigning.

If you’re thinking about resigning because you’re being treated badly, keep a diary of what’s happening. This will give you useful evidence if you later decide to make a claim against your employer.

See if you can find a new job

If you don’t want to find a way to stay in your job, it’s often easier to find a new job before leaving your old one.

This could mean you won’t lose income or have to worry about claiming benefits. You wouldn't have to answer difficult questions from a new employer about why you resigned without another job to go to.

If you still want to resign

If you haven’t got another job to go to, you should work out your budget. This will tell you how long you’ll be able to manage for before you find another job. If it’s not for very long, it could be better to wait a bit longer before you resign. 

If you or your partner get any benefits, check if stopping work will affect them. For example, your Universal Credit could stop for 3 months or longer if the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says you didn’t have a good reason for resigning. This is called a sanction.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you need to work out how your benefits might change.

If you don’t have another job to go to, you can claim benefits straight away.
You can claim benefits as soon as you know the date you’re stopping work. You’ll need to show you had a good reason for resigning, or you might not get any money for around 3 months. This is called a sanction.

You should also check what other benefits you could get. 

There are some extra things you should think about before deciding to resign, depending on your situation.

If you think you're being forced out

If your employer has told you they'll dismiss you if you don't resign, this counts as a dismissal. If they're treating you badly in order to make you resign, it could be constructive dismissal. 

You should contact your nearest Citizens Advice before you do anything.

If you don't feel safe to go back to work

Some problems are serious enough that resigning and leaving without notice could be the best option. Resigning is still a big step, but it can be better than staying in a job which puts you in danger.

For example, if you feel that:

  • you’re being repeatedly bullied by your colleagues or employer
  • you’re frightened to go into work
  • you don’t feel safe at work

Tell your employer why you’re resigning in writing. This will mean you’ve got evidence of why you resigned if you want to take legal action against your employer.

For example, if your employer knew you were being bullied but didn’t do anything about it, you might be able to make an employment tribunal claim for constructive dismissal.

If you verbally told your employer you were resigning, you should follow this up with an email or letter to confirm why you’re leaving.

To get help to work out if it’s worth making a claim, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you're off sick

If you resign you could claim benefits, but you won’t get more money than you would on sick pay. If you stay in your job while you get better, you’ll keep getting paid and building up holiday entitlement. You can still explore ways to solve the problem while you’re off sick.

Check if your employer can give you any support - for example they might offer an occupational health service or counselling to help you deal with stress.

You could also ask your employer if they’ll make changes to help you back into your job. For example, you could ask to come back to work in a different team, or for a few hours a week at first.

If you’re disabled your employer has to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help you do your job. You can find out how to ask for reasonable adjustments.

If you're in a disciplinary process

If you resign while you’re in the middle of a disciplinary procedure or being investigated for misconduct, your employer could mention this on any reference they give you. This could make it harder for you to find a new job.

It could also mean your employer continues with the disciplinary process in your absence and you can't influence the result.

Resigning while you’re in a disciplinary process could also mean you can’t get JSA or Universal Credit for around 3 months.

You can get help if you’re in a disciplinary process and find out more about getting job references. 

If you think you might be made redundant

If you’ve worked for your employer for over 2 years you’re usually better off waiting to be made redundant, as you’ll probably get a redundancy payment. If you want to stay with your employer, they might offer you a new job.

You can find out how much redundancy pay you’d get and check your options if your employer offers you a different job.

How to resign

If you’re sure you want to resign, follow these steps to stand the best chance of getting a good reference and being paid everything you’re owed.

Check how much notice you need to give your employer

You should be able to find how much notice you need to give in your contract or staff handbook. If it doesn’t say anything, you’ll still need to give a minimum amount of notice - you can check your notice period and find out what to do if you want to give less notice.

Give your employer notice in writing

You could write a letter or an email, so you’ll have a record of when and how you resigned.

It should say:

  • how much notice you’re giving
  • when your last day will be

You don’t have to give a reason for your resignation. However, if you’re resigning because of something your employer did, you should say this in the letter. This will give you evidence if you decide to take legal action against them.

Check your holiday pay entitlement

If you haven’t taken all the holiday you’re entitled to, ask your employer if you need to take it during your notice period or if you can be paid for it.

If you’ve taken more holiday than you’re entitled to, your employer might take money from your final pay.

You can check whether you’re owed any holiday.

Check your final payslip

Make sure you’ve been paid for everything you were expecting, including any bonus or commission you were entitled to. If not, tell your employer.

If your employer won’t pay, you can take steps to get the money you’re owed. If you’ve got home or car insurance you might be able to get free legal advice through your policy - check your insurance paperwork for details.

If you were in a workplace pension scheme, remember to keep a record of the details.

OpenAndHonest - Expert in Work Stress I'm leaving, because I left for ethical reasons and I need the referral even though it wasn't a good situation. I am writing to resign from my current position (insert job title) from (insert.

Constructive dismissal

resigning from a job because of stress

Are you thinking about quitting your job, but not sure you're doing it for the right reason? Or are you worried that you should stay with your current employer for the time being? Before you quit a job, you should be very sure that you want to resign. Once you've turned in your resignation, you probably won't be able to change your mind and get your job back.

Being polite about quitting can help you move on without burning any bridges.

Top 10 Good Reasons to Quit Your Job

1. You Found a New Job. Obviously, the best reason for quitting a job is that you've found a new one. Before you quit your job, though, make sure that you've covered all the bases, including having a confirmed job offer and a cleaned-out computer and office before you quit.

2. You Hate Your Job. Don't quit your job right away, even if you hate it. It's better to strategically plan your departure so that you're leaving on your terms and not scrambling to find another position. Here's what to do if you hate your job.

3. Illness. Personal or family illnesses are both legitimate reasons to quit a job, and sometimes a sudden illness can be an excuse to leave a position. If it's a legitimate reason to quit (i.e., you or someone in your family is chronically ill), make sure that you have continued health insurance coverage after you leave. Also be aware that you may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave due to personal or family illness.

4. Difficult Work Environment. Co-workers, bosses, and a negative office environment can all make your job difficult. In fact, they can make your workplace somewhere you simply don't want to be. Once you have tried every option, you may need to make a decision to leave. Here's how to decide when to leave a difficult workplace and how to move on.

5. Schedules and Hours. When you lose childcare or your work schedule has changed and it's difficult for you to adjust, you may need to quit your job and look for one that is more accommodating to your personal schedule. Leaving a job because of scheduling issues is a legitimate reason for quitting a job.

6. Going Back to School. Going back to school, either on a part-time or full-time basis, can necessitate a job change. Given your school schedule and the demands of your job, your current employment may no longer be a good fit.

7. Career Change. More than a few people have quit a professional job because they felt like they had been doing the same thing for too long, wanted to do something different, or didn’t want to deal with stress or travel of their industry any longer. Whether you want to move up or down the career ladder, a decision to change careers can make good sense if you're looking to do something different.

8. Relocation. When you move, of course, you have to quit your job unless there are opportunities to relocate with the company or to work remotely. If you are interested in keeping your job when you move, check to see if relocation
or working remotely is an option. You can always ask your boss if telecommuting is an option.

9. You Got a Permanent Position. If you're working as a temp or at a part-time job and want to move on, one of the best reasons to give for quitting is that you have found a permanent full-time position.

10. What Your Gut Tells You. One of the best mentors I ever had told me that the best way to make decisions is to listen to your gut. He said it worked with hiring, with deciding to accept a job, or deciding to quit a job. He was right. If your gut is telling you to quit, listen to it. Here's how to resign with class.

Watch Now: Reasons to Quit Your Job

More Reasons Employees Move On

  • Dissatisfied with current role - 81%
  • Passed over for a promotion - 79%
  • Not satisfied with career path - 43%
  • Manager/Direct Supervisor - 39%

The survey notes that 72% of employees were satisfied with their current role, 69% were optimistic about finding a new position, and 80% said even one bad day at work would make them likely or very likely to start a job search.

What You Should Know if You've Decided to Quit

How much notice should you give? In most cases, it's standard to give two weeks’ notice. However, in some cases, you may be unwilling or unable to provide notice. That's especially true if you are in a difficult or dangerous work situation. Here are reasons for quitting without notice.

Sometimes, even if the work environment is difficult, it can be strategic to give another reason for quitting other than that you hate working at the company.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: I Quit My Job! Why It Was The Best Decision Ever

OpenAndHonest - Expert in Work Stress I'm leaving, because I left for ethical reasons and I need the referral even though it wasn't a good situation. I am writing to resign from my current position (insert job title) from (insert.

resigning from a job because of stress
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