Job Stress Blues

A growing number of career professionals think that they’re in an industry that uniquely contributes to stress.

Insurance agents think that the insurance industry is inherently stressful.

Taxi drivers know that they’re in a stressful job.

A study by the New York State Society of CPAs found that most CPAs agree that public accounting is a high-stress profession. Anyone in the collections department of a major organization can tell you that there are a plethora of built-in stressors when you attempt to collect money from others. Most frequently, people in these professions experience:

    * rapid pulse

    * frequent illness

    * insomnia

    * persistent fatigue

    * irritability

    * lack of concentration

    * increased use of alcohol and drugs

Hopefully, the above items are not your issues!

The Dirty Dozen

What are the factors at hand that tell you if your career and your position, in particular, are too stressful? Try these on for size:

1. Are you constantly working in overtime, particularly at the last minute?

2. Do face constant interruptions?

3. Do you face role ambiguity, that is you don’t have a clear definition of what’s expected of you?

4. Do you face conflicting demands? If you have one or more bosses, and many people do, sometimes to please one you have to displease the other.

5. Excessive job requirements. Are you given tasks and assignments which clearly exceed your ability or training?

6. Lack of job security. Are you working someplace, not knowing from day to day how secure you are with the organization?

7. Do you have an inflexible work environment? Do you have to be in by 8:30 on the button? Are you allowed to leave to pick up your son early one night? If not, stress could be predictable.

8. Is there a healthy career progression? Do you have enough opportunities for advancement? Does hard work merit rewards?

9. Is your work emotionally draining?

10. Do you face emergencies and crises that in and of themselves would cause anyone high stress?

11. Do you have responsibility for the performance of others?

12. Do have to sometimes fire workers? Fortune magazine reports that even top executives who’ve fired dozens of people, after years, still find this to be a highly stressful aspect of their position.

Invariably, your job can be stressful. The symptoms of stress exhibited by people in highly stressful occupations ranges all over the place! From frequent illness to nervous ticks and even mental lapses. Finally, it can be stressful if you’re being under-used (not likely!) If the job that you have does not offer a significant enough challenge, surprisingly, that can be as stressful than one that offers too much of a challenge. Fortunately, identifying and acknowledging your sources(s) of job stress yields the best chance of regaining control.

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Posted by Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony.

Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including:
* Managing the Pace with Grace®
* Achieving Work-Life Balance™
* Managing Information and Communication Overload®

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