Mood Swings and Your Career

Mood swings. They are awful. They make you feel a little out of control. They take you from being the sweetest, calmest and nicest person, to being the hugest bitch on the block. I’m sure many women would agree that mood swings are their biggest enemy both at work and at home. How do we learn to take on our moods and not let them affect us at work?

Perhaps you woke up feeling like you had “a case of the Monday’s” today too. Well, I wasn’t willing to just settle for that explanation today. I decided to look up the reasons for mood swings, and I was hoping to find something less obvious than PMS as an answer.

According to an article on, mood swings affect twice as many women as men. How interesting and lucky for us: one more reason the men in our lives can think we are totally nuts.

The article also sites that our “modern lifestyle” is a contributor to mood swings. I was just thinking this morning about how draining it can be to live in the city along with how draining all the technology in our lives can be. It makes sense to me. The article says, “Modern lifestyle also plays a key role to enhance the chances of mood swings. Smoking, alcohol, eating fast foods and having sugar, tea/coffee, chocolates in excess, lack of patience, stressful work environment, hyper sensitiveness, lack of physical activity, all these things contribute in fluctuating the mood.”

Well, if any of you went out to the bar this weekend, ate junk food afterwards, drank way too much caffeine the next day to make up for it and skipped your workouts, I guess that explains half of our “having a case of the Mondays” today. Oops. Or perhaps you ate lots of chocolate today in hopes of being a bit happier…apparently this is a bad move as well.

I’ve also noticed that mood swings affect me at work and I imagine that they could affect someone’s career over the long haul too. Think about it: first your mood affects your focus and attitude. Then before you know it, your mood swing causes you to snap at a co-worker or client. Bad move. Work is not a place for emotions- especially not negative ones. Then you feel super guilty about being a total ass, so you start to worry about your job security and if your co-workers still respect you. Then you get down on yourself. This cycle just takes you further away from your work and creates more stress in your life.

According to an article on, “People who experience constant stress often demonstrate feelings of anxiety and a lack of self-esteem. Unfortunately, it’s typically the employees that display a high level of self-esteem and confidence that are promoted more often. If you don’t feel confident in the job you’re doing, it could be because stress is holding you back – you’ll need to learn how to identify and manage stress if you want to get ahead at your job.” Therefore, the article suggests that stress (which can start from these mood swings) can prevent you from advancing and prohibit the growth of professional relationships as well.

I have no idea what the answer is to getting rid of mood swings. All I know is that after reading a few articles on the topic, it seems pretty important to tame them. Especially if you are hoping to get ahead in your career and be respected by the people in your life!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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