Here's How Your Career Path Could Affect Your Health

There are a lot of things to take into account as you work towards establishing and growing your career. For example, many people are torn between pursuing their passion in exchange for fulfillment and a lower paycheck, or taking a higher-paying job that offers more income and better benefits, but less satisfaction and excitement.

Deciding on a career is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Even if you're among the lucky few whose passion leads them on a lucrative career path, your health can still be negatively impacted by odd or inconsistent work hours, stress, a long commute, or a toxic office environment (via Business News Daily). It's also important to think about workaholism, per Business News Daily. If you do pursue a career you love, be mindful of not letting it consume your entire life. Make sure there's an "off" switch where you put aside work in order to ensure you're getting enough sleep and maintaining your relationships.

Then there's the matter of our bank accounts. Upon entering the workforce and becoming responsible for our own expenses, most of us quickly learned the old adage "money can't buy happiness" isn't exactly true. After all, it's hard to be happy if you're consistently struggling to pay for rent and other necessities.

Your salary can have an impact on your happiness and mental health

As reported by The Washington Post, a study out of San Diego State University showed that the correlation between money and happiness has grown over the past few decades. "The link [between income and happiness] is stronger now than in previous decades," the study's lead author, Jean Twenge, told the outlet. Twenge theorized that lower-income people's happiness is likely associated with factors such as the ability to buy real estate and pay for education (the cost of both real estate and education has increased significantly in recent decades).

The correlation between money and happiness will vary depending on the person. But if you do choose to pursue a more lucrative career, it's still important to find a workplace that doesn't harm your mental health.

"The workplace can make or mar a person's health as an average person spends more than eight hours there every day," Ketan Kapoor, CEO and co-founder of Mettl, told Business News Daily. "Spending a considerable time under stress and pressure can trigger excessive production of stress hormone called cortisol, leading to health issues in the long run."

Any workplace, regardless of salary, has the potential to be toxic if the leadership promotes that environment. So even if you do choose to pursue a lucrative career in order to secure funds for things like real estate and education, remember that you can always switch companies if your current one fosters an unhealthy environment and causes anxiety or other mental health issues.