What Happens When You Are "Mentally Unemployed"

Posted December 19, 2017

When you start working in a new job, you might volunteer for special projects, develop new methods to increase efficiency or stay late to show you are willing to go the extra mile.

However, that passion and willingness fades over time. You get comfortable in your job, don't feel particularly motivated and all of a sudden - you've become just another cog in the company machine. When this happens, you might not be doing anything wrong, yet you're not trying to stand out.

In a nutshell, you've become "mentally unemployed."

If you think you might have mentally checked out of your current position, consider the following indicators.

You don't speak up anymore

When you first began your job, you were set on making an impact. So when you identified an inefficient method or came up with a forward-thinking approach to a project, you excitedly shared it with your supervisor and team. You also wanted your voice to be heard and opinions be acknowledged. As a result, you readily spoke up if someone put forward a project or idea you didn't think would work.

However, maybe the issues you raised never got the reception you wanted, or no matter how frequently you spoke up, nobody seemed to listen. Perhaps your ideas were met with opposition too many times, or you simply dropped into the team's long-established methods.

If you don't bother to contribute anymore, you might have to take action regarding your job situation.

Your quality of work has dropped

If you used to care about the quality of your work and took notice of small details, but no longer have the energy or desire to do so, you might be mentally unemployed. Disengaged workers are focused on checking off each box on their duties list and moving on to the next task.

The result is often more mistakes and work being done at a slower pace.

You isolate yourself

There's putting your head down and doing a standard job; then there's working while not getting noticed at all.

Isolation might mean choosing to opt out. In group settings, you sit back and don't participate. You stop joining in water cooler conversations and don't grab lunch with the rest of the team.

Isolation might also be in your own head. You might feel invisible in a highly visible role. You might think others are ignoring you, even when there is no evidence of it.

Bad mood

Employees who are disengaged have a tendency to be moody. You might be wearing your emotions on your sleeve more than usual and it might be getting more difficult to conceal your true feelings. You might not care if others notice your true feelings because you don't care about negative consequences.

If you are feeling mentally unemployed, it probably won’t be long before you are actually unemployed – either by quitting or getting fired. Contact Ambassador Personnel and see what options a full-service staffing firm has available for you. We have years of experience in helping folks move on and we can help you too!