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Temporary Work Could Be Bad For Your Mental Health

Is temporary work making you sick? Maybe so. And it's for all the reasons you'd assume. According to research done in Montreal, temporary and short-term contract jobs contribute to psychological distress and depression. The study found that workers hired for temporary, contract, casual or fixed-term positions have a higher risk of developing mental health problems than those in steady positions. The main researcher noted,

"Temporary workers-those lacking long-term, stable employment-seem to be susceptible to declining mental health for as long as they continue to work in these so-called 'disposable' or 'second class' jobs. This research shows that temporary work strains employee mental health, as contingent workers report more symptoms of depression and psychological distress than similarly employed workers who are not in these fixed-term positions."

The findings seem completely logical, but are especially poignant considering the current economy and fact that many employers are trying to shave costs wherever possible and those looking for jobs are eager to take short-term work. Have you ever worked a temporary job?

Join The Conversation
girlwparasol girlwparasol 7 years
Some of my temp jobs were decent - I was informed of the duration before I started, and was treated equally and fairly. Others were downright hellish because I was treated as a second class employee, wasn't informed of the duration (not even vaguely), received little or no training, and was, as a result, treated like I was completely incompetent. I didn't even mind not receiving the same benefits as others, I just disliked constantly being patronized or pitied because of it. For what it's worth, engineers and IT folks always treated me well, corporate cubicle types were the awful ones.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I was a temp for a YEAR at a company and I was always stressed out about when my contract would end and what I'd do for work after it was up. Plus, I didn't get treated like a "real" employee--I didn't have my own desk or anything. It was pretty sucky, I'll admit. I like having a permanent job a lot better--at least I know that I belong to the company and get all the same perks and benefits that everyone else does.
Miss-Tina Miss-Tina 7 years
I do freelance writing so every job is pretty much a temporary gig. I would not say that it stresses me out the most, usually getting the jobs is very exciting. However, I would agree that it is extremely stressful never knowing how long the income will last! If you do not depend on the money it is always easier to deal with though!
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 7 years
I've done a lot of temp work and promotional jobs.. this is sorta distressing news but it doesn't come out of the blue. It's stressful living paycheck to paycheck with uncertainty lurking in the shadows.
psterling psterling 7 years
I have been a contractor twice. Once at a company that totally treated me like a 2nd class employee and I was always embarrassed about being singled out as "temporary" and not enjoying the same office perks and always worried that they would let me go. I also started my current job as a contractor but they always treated me like an equal and most people didn't even know I was a contractor. I always felt valued and they rewarded me with a permanent position after a year so I can definitely see how being in a unfriendly environment can contribute to declining mental health but I don't think it has to be that way.
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