Searching for a job is hard work. You send out endless resumes, make constant updates to your online job profiles, and live in ever-present anticipation of that next phone call. The nervous mental space of the job seeker can make you desperate to take any job, leading you to forget some important things.
Safety, for instance. It’s essential for your long-term well-being that you keep potential hazards in mind when applying for work. Your job is supposed to support your life, not destroy it. When looking for work, be aware of the following dangers that can go hand-in-hand with certain career paths.
Injuries can place significant barriers between you and the life you desire. Work injuries are more common than you might think. Every year, a huge number of Americans injure themselves physically while in the line of duty. And the jobs that put those workers in harm’s way are not always the ones you’d expect. Here are a few of them:
- Driving jobs. Any job that involves driving puts you at serious physical risk. The reason is simple: driving is dangerous. If you’re in traffic, even briefly, you’re in harm’s way. Traffic fatalities are among the most common causes of unnatural death in the world. And many driving jobs, such as food delivery or ride-share positions, put premiums on speed. Fast driving is reckless driving.
- Agricultural jobs. Farmers work hard, and there’s no doubt that they build up a resilience against everyday aches and pains. But they also work with things that no amount of toughening up can protect them from, such as heavy machinery and industrial chemicals.
- Manufacturing jobs. As with farmers, workers who handle big machinery are constantly at risk of injury. Machines don’t recognize human suffering, and they won’t stop working once they start injuring you. The results can be gruesome.
Long-term Health Danger
Not all injuries are as easy to detect as immediate physical ones. Many jobs, such as those in which you work around industrial chemicals, can take years to hurt you. The hurt is real, though. Cancers and many other serious health conditions can arise as a result of any job that involves harsh substances. Do your research when taking a job like this. Your workplace is required to post warnings and lists of chemicals. Read the warnings. Take them seriously.
Mental Health Danger
A job can take its toll on your health in nonphysical ways, too. People who work in offices, serve food to angry customers, or who do anything repetitive often find themselves grappling with depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. When looking for work, think hard about the things that upset you. Can you handle being hassled and insulted by strangers? How do you take blunt criticism? Does office gossip sound like something that would leave drained and depressed? If yes, you might want to avoid service or office jobs.
Any job can put you at risk, and it’s up to you to decide which hazards you’re willing to accept in order to earn a paycheck. Everyone’s needs are different. Be aware of the different ways in which work can hurt. Look for jobs that won’t leave you with permanent injuries, long-term illness, or emotionally strained.