How pessimism can hurt your career

While everyone has career doubts from time to time, frequent pessimism can seriously impact your future and your mental health.

If you are feeling unsure about your career, you could take something you are passionate about and turn it into something that helps you pay the bills. Or, you can read helpful resources, such as BetterHelp, for help on improving your mental health if you feel like your pessimism is overtaking you.

pessimism careerHowever, if you or someone you know is feeling pessimistic about career choices, then there are a few negative effects that could have in your life overall.

Harming your professional image

If you express your pessimism outwardly, then you could paint a bleak picture of yourself that may hamper your professional image.

Coworkers may not associate you with someone who wants to move up in their career field. As such, expanding your network could become difficult if your colleagues do not speak favourably of you.

So, you can try to change your attitude by thinking before you speak. Before you say something, consider the following questions:

  • Are you enriching your colleagues’ professional lives with your input?
  • Will your comments add something new to the discussion, or are you using the chance to vent about well-known problems?
  • Can you understand where the other person is coming from?

In being considerate toward your colleagues, you are also challenging your own beliefs about whether or not what you are saying is truly how you want to represent yourself in front of others.

Now, being negative about a certain part of the job is normal. Every single job will always have something that bothers someone.

However, if you can balance your criticisms with parts of the job you do enjoy, you could use your analysis to improve your experience.

More stress

Another negative effect of pessimism is becoming overly stressed about your workload or feeling hopeless when thinking about your future.

This stress may derive from having to perform too many tasks at once or not having anyone to talk to about your struggles. One solution to easing up on your stress is to allow your coworkers to pick up some of your work.

Although work may feel like you should be responsible for your given tasks, you are not the only one working at the company. Your colleagues are also focusing on their tasks, so the best way for everyone to finish what they need to do is by relying on one another.

The opposite effect of not relying on others could involve shutting down or giving up entirely on a career that you have yet to make the most out of yet.

Thus, try to control your emotions by focusing on four key steps you should take at the moment you are feeling overwhelmed:

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Rely on others.
  3. Stay focused.
  4. Prepare now for your future struggles.

These steps are not going to seamlessly work for you right away, but by acknowledging what you can do to calm down during a stressful episode, you give yourself a better chance of completing your work promptly while also realizing you are not alone.

Focus on solutions, not problems

Lastly, try to not only focus on your immediate problems. While understanding what is going wrong can be helpful, if you do not try to find a solution, you may feel stuck with the problem.

Some people may not look favourably on their career because they come into problems constantly without knowing how to fix them.

Thus, when you talk to others about problems, focus on how you can solve them rather than vent out your frustrations. While you may not have the answer, your colleague might. And once you discover the solution, you may feel like you are understanding your career in a better light.

So, once you inevitably encounter another problem, you could use your newfound knowledge to overcome it again.


Trying to feel less pessimistic may be a challenge, especially if it is an attitude you’ve grown accustomed to for some time.

But, by confiding in your colleagues, focusing on solutions, and trying to remain positive even when you would rather feel pessimistic, you can work steadily on improving your attitude and mood.