A Bad Job Could Be Worse Than No Job

Hannah Long, News Editor • hglong16@ehc.edu

While research has demonstrated that being unemployed contributes to poor health, a recent study suggests that having a bad job could be even more damaging, according to CNN.

The report found that “re-employment into poor quality jobs was associated with higher levels of chronic stress-related biomarkers compared with remaining unemployed.”

Virginia resident Stacy York spent 20 years raising her son before reentering the work force. Her experiences of the work environment have been mixed.

She said, “[I had a food retail job] that lasted only one day because the manager did not want me there and made that clear….That made me quite miserable.”

York now works as an administrative assistant at Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia.

She said, “[I]t’s been wonderful. I love my job. I look forward to coming to work.”

An important part of that, she explained, is that “people are friendly, appreciative, and willing to help. I have been treated like a team member and that makes all the difference in the world….environment [a]ffects your mental health.”

Ill health is pervasive throughout Appalachia. An August report quoted in The Weirton Daily Times found “the 13-state region lags the rest of the country in 33 out of 41 population health indicators.”

Employers take this reality into account as they attempt to improve their employees’ environment.

Caitlin Trent is a marketing and business director for a structural engineering firm based in Virginia and Tennessee. One thing her company does to support employees is to give each team member time to talk to their employer one-on-one.

The talks, she said, emphasize “that they are providing value and that they’re a necessary part of the company.” They also foster healthy communication within the business.

Recently, employees competed with one another in a competition to take more steps each day. The prize was a hundred dollar Amazon gift card. The contest helped improve employees’ physical health and also built good morale, Trent explained.

These sorts of exercises, she said, improve “not just [employees’] day-to-day work life, but other elements” of their well-being.The goal is to improve both physical and mental health. It’s more than just keeping people happy. Ultimately, Trent said, “it’s making us, overall, and the company better” and reminding people “they’re more than just employees.”

While research has demonstrated that being unemployed contributes to poor health, a recent study suggests that having a bad job could be even more damaging, according to CNN.

The report found that “re-employment into poor quality jobs was associated with higher levels of chronic stress-related biomarkers compared with remaining unemployed.”

Virginia resident Stacy York spent 20 years raising her son before reentering the work force. Her experiences of the work environment have been mixed.

She said, “[I had a food retail job] that lasted only one day because the manager did not want me there and made that clear….That made me quite miserable.”

York now works as an administrative assistant at Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia.

She said, “[I]t’s been wonderful. I love my job. I look forward to coming to work.”

An important part of that, she explained, is that “people are friendly, appreciative, and willing to help. I have been treated like a team member and that makes all the difference in the world….environment [a]ffects your mental health.”

Ill health is pervasive throughout Appalachia. An August report quoted in The Weirton Daily Times found “the 13-state region lags the rest of the country in 33 out of 41 population health indicators.”

Employers take this reality into account as they attempt to improve their employees’ environment.

Caitlin Trent is a marketing and business director for a structural engineering firm based in Virginia and Tennessee. One thing her company does to support employees is to give each team member time to talk to their employer one-on-one.

The talks, she said, emphasize “that they are providing value and that they’re a necessary part of the company.” They also foster healthy communication within the business.

Recently, employees competed with one another in a competition to take more steps each day. The prize was a hundred dollar Amazon gift card. The contest helped improve employees’ physical health and also built good morale, Trent explained.

These sorts of exercises, she said, improve “not just [employees’] day-to-day work life, but other elements” of their well-being.The goal is to improve both physical and mental health. It’s more than just keeping people happy. Ultimately, Trent said, “it’s making us, overall, and the company better” and reminding people “they’re more than just employees.”

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