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All I want to do is sleep

My current job makes me so stressed. Is it worth going back to my former company, even if it’s lower pay?

Don’t think about it as losing dollars, says our elder; it’s more like gaining in happiness.

Dear EWC

I recently took on a higher paying job in the field I have a passion for. Unfortunately, I no longer have a passion for it after being so stressed that I dread going. I have trouble sleeping at night thinking of all the things I still need to do, or ideas for projects. I feel like I’m giving up on this new career, but I come home and spend no time with my family because I’m so depressed and stressed out. I am short with my husband and children and all I want to do is sleep. I do work a second job which pays enough to supplement my income, and I have reapplied for a job in the company I left, where my boss said she would love to have me back. It is in the same field, so I wouldn’t be giving up my passion, but it pays half the amount I’m making now. The upside would be that I would have half as much responsibility and I would work fewer hours. In the position I’m currently in I am salaried and feel like I can never catch up so I’m working ten-hour days. This would be six-hour days and hourly. My family is not in a financial position where being off of work for an extended period of time is an option, but going back to the same pay rate I was at wouldn’t hurt us. It just wouldn’t feel like we were moving forward financially. My husband is currently working on starting a business so this would free up some of my time to help him with the business we hope to run together one day when it becomes more profitable.

So my question is: Am I trading the stress of work for financial stress? Is that worth it? Should I feel guilty for making less money but spending more time with my kids who are craving my attention? My daughter cried to me the other night and asked me to quit working so much. I feel like this is a strong sign that this is the right thing to do, but she’s young and I don’t know that she understands the fact that with less money we spend more time at home and less time doing things fun and exciting.

Lawry replies

I would be happy to answer your letter.
Usually, when I read a letter like yours, I suggest that the individual write down a list of pros and cons, which I have always found to be very useful, especially writing it down as opposed to just going through it in your head. But it seems like you are really leaning toward going back to your old company for lots of good reasons. To me that is the most logical answer. Things aren’t going to get any better at your current job and you will only get more and more tired and stressed, which isn’t good either mentally or physically. So I would encourage to move back to your former company. I wouldn’t feel any shame or guilt about being paid less. What you are gaining in happiness is far better than what you are losing in dollars. I think you will be happier and I am certain your children and husband will be, too.
I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I wish you a great deal of happiness as you move forward with your life. Think positive. I am a great believer in that.

Letter #: 449005
Category: Career

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