I work in an industry that glorifies long hours and has a very male-dominated culture.
I am someone who gets frequent migraines, and I often find I can't sleep because of the stress. I enjoy parts of the actual work, but feel like I've been left out of "better" projects I have the skills and intelligence to do because I will only work slightly over 40 hours. I do this to maintain my mental health and to avoid getting more migraines than necessary. My coworkers and bosses view this as not working hard, although I try to be as productive as I can in the hours I am working because I know I could get a migraine at any moment, and know I need to maintain a regular schedule to be healthy. I have tried my best to be helpful and update our office standards to help make everyone more productive, partly motivated by my own need for things to run efficiently. In response, I was screamed at by several coworkers, including an intern, during a meeting to present these standards - which I should note are industry accepted, and not something I made up to impose upon them, they just have been used to working their own way in their own little bubble. My bosses asked me to help with this when they hired me, but then repeatedly questioned whether I knew what I was doing, asking me to constantly justify it to them, when they don't understand the software I use at all, and when this is something I have done at several past offices. I should also note that the bullying has extended beyond just this one issue, with one woman gossiping to my bosses about my lack of capabilities, and generally being made to feel like I'm not working hard when I am, and against my health, I've been working after hours to improve these standards for everyone because my bosses feel this unbillable work is a waste of time, even though they asked me to help with this. When I brought up at my review both these issues, that I feel underutilized, and that I did not feel welcome, I was told I was "too sensitive", that I needed to be "more confident" and to "suck it up". I feel like the culture in this industry will not be better at other firms, but am completely on my own financially, have student debt and feel not very confident about applying to other places because they will demand even longer hours and be even more discouraging, and I'd rather not get blaring headaches all the time. I have been pursuing additional training, but have not been able to apply it on projects, and feel like a new place would not take me seriously that I can take on better work at a more supportive office without it being reflected in my actual work rather than just a certificate. Any advice is welcome.