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Having a Shitty Job in Your 20s Is Going to Make You Sick

Hating your career early on means you're more likely to have mental and physical health issues in your 40s.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA

It's all downhill from here. Photo via Flickr user tup wanders

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada

Bad news for everyone working in retail, the restaurant industry, delivering pizza, interning, and basically doing any other low-paid, shit job people have in their 20s—in just a couple of decades, this kind of work will begin to wreak havoc on your body and mind.

According to a study out of Ohio State University, hating your job in your 20s and 30s—which is pretty much par for the course these days—means by the time you hit your 40s, you'll start to experience symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia, back pain, and more frequent colds.


"We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s," said lead study author Jonathan Dirlam, a doctoral student in sociology at the university.

The study tracked job satisfaction amongst 6,432 Americans aged 25-39; 45 percent characterized their job satisfaction as consistently low and 23 percent ranked it low near the beginning of their careers.

Those who hated their jobs reported worse mental health issues, including excessive worry, than their happy counterparts (about 15 percent of participants.)

The likelihood of getting a disease like cancer or diabetes remained the same regardless of workplace satisfaction. So at least a crappy job isn't more likely to kill you.

But Dirlam cautioned the oldest participants in the study were only in their 40s, so physical health problems, including cardiovascular issues, that come as a result of having a miserable job aren't out of the question later down the line.

According to a survey by human resources firm ADP released in February, 55 percent of Canadians aged 18-34 wanted to change their careers this year. Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate is sitting at about 13 percent.

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