According to sociological research, a person spends more than a third of their life working 40 hours a week. Of course, things that we do for such long periods influence us and our psychological features over time.
Besides the positive aspects of our job, there’s also a negative side: a so-called professional personality deformation like when a businessman keeps checking his email on vacation or when a military serviceman continues commanding at home.
TAJA KHABREIN describes how different jobs change our personality and gathers advice on how we can learn to switch from one activity to another, so we don’t become a prisoner of our work.
A military serviceman’s job affects them as a person and even affects their family. All family members live in an atmosphere of strict discipline. It’s very easy to tell a child raised in a serviceman’s family from the child of an architect or a journalist. Honor, dignity, and good physical shape are the advantages of this job. But as time passes, servicemen become tougher, more cynical, and their ability to empathize fades away. Military men feel that they should always stay unbiased and analyze situations using only logic, putting love and compassion aside. That’s why it’s so difficult for them to stay kind and balanced when it comes to their relatives.
This job makes the medical professional “build” a defensive wall that includes indifference, coldness, and cynicism because they face suffering, pain, and death every day. And the peculiar humor of many doctors is a psychological defense mechanism from consistent stress and fear. A habit of hiding their emotions and treating everything calmly causes emotional detachment and an unwillingness to share problems. Doctors are used to always being ready, both physically and emotionally, to help.
A professional teacher is able to manage a big group of kids and that’s why a certain sense of strictness may appear in their home life. The qualities most often observed among teachers are: authoritativeness, conservatism, predisposition to monologues, and compliance with formalities. If a person works with kids all day long, they start treating their relatives of different ages the same, like when they’re giving advice, feeling a need to always have everything prepared, and maybe even feeling like they need to explain something 10 times.
Let’s specify that a businessman isn’t a job but a way of thinking and a way of life. This job often doesn’t allow you to compromise and be lenient. To become successful, work should be the main purpose in one’s life. That’s why entrepreneurs spend 24 hours thinking about their business. Business is in a constant development cycle without any final goal. So, this type of professional is always thinking about self-development and they demand that their relatives behave the same. Also, being in a state of constant search, sometimes entrepreneurs don’t even know what they actually want.
This job is suitable only for morally strong people because lawyers are usually under a lot of pressure. Silence is one of the main elements to consider about this job. It’s not common to speak about problems, so lawyers rarely ask for help and support. These habits can cause depression and anxiety.A successful career demands a honed ability to predict all of the negative scenarios for a client. As a rule, lawyers are overloaded and hide health problems so they don’t interfere with their career.
It’s very difficult for accountants to switch from work to their personal life: they are used to focused work with numbers. Meticulousness is one of the features accountants bring into their personal life. Years of monotonous, laborious work takes its toll: they cultivate tediousness and pretension.Accountants have everything in place and complete each task due on a strict schedule. They plan their family budget carefully and consistently keep their whole house clean.
Journalists are always in the thick of things, they usually see unpleasant and horrible things that canaffect their psyche in a negative way. They also can’t stay away from things that happen around them because any new information is treated as a motive to write an article. The job requires communication with different people (sometimes not really interesting or positive). Censorship also restricts journalists’ ability to express their point of view and it can be disappointing. Besides, working during days off and occasional sleep deprivation exhaust the body very fast.
Very often, people study psychology so they know how to cope with themselves. Many psychologists study and analyze other peoples’ problems because they want to find the roots of their own issues. Psychologists become emotionally exhausted because they have to constantly listen to and understand someone else’s suffering and problems. Each professional knows that their clients’ well-being and health heavily depend on the their psychologist’s actions and this heavy responsibility may cause stress and the fear of making a fatal mistake.
A sociable person with great self-discipline can become a successful freelancer. But an unstable income and social vulnerability can cause permanent uncertainty. Home is the workplace for a freelancer and they have no opportunity to switch between a work and home persona. And they never have a change of scenery. Also, non-standardized working hours and constant thoughts about work can influence their life in a bad way. That’s why it’s very important for freelancers to self-impose a change of scenery and let themselves relax emotionally.
Architects are famous for being workaholics. There are even an overabundance of jokes about their tired appearance. Constant late nights in the office, working during days off, and a lack of sleep have negative effects on their well being. Architects’ friends, as a rule, are also architects: they’re just not interested in other people. Permanent emotional tension, a huge sense of responsibility, frequent conflicts with customers, creative crisis, and slight delusions of grandeur usually lead to depression among architects.