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Is your job stressing you?

Updated on October 13, 2012

job related stress

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Stress is defined as defined by MelinePlus as "a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation and also as a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium”. Anything can trigger in-equilibrium. Job related stress has recently gained lots of public attention. According to National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health, 40% of Americans, say their jobs are extremely stressful (Perman, 2012). Everyone is always dreaming of finding a good job someday. After college or some training, graduates go hunting for their dream job. What kind of jobs are they are looking for? May be a good paying job, less stressful, flexible hours, long term and may be one that guarantees career development. If you look back at all the jobs that you have had in the past, there have been the worst, better and the good jobs. What makes it the worst job and what make it the best job ever? There are definitely some certain factors that guide your analysis into classifying these jobs as the “worst”, “not so bad” and “best”. We read all the time from the newspapers and research studies of stressful and less stressful jobs. These reports based their analysis on salaries, flexibility and the nature of the jobs i.e. the work hours in correlation with the compensation.

In analyzing my own jobs, I realized that I have had two best jobs in my life. One as a rehabilitation aide and the other as a manufacturing specialist. The reason why my rehabilitation job was very fulfilling was seeing happy faces of patients due to their health improving and will soon be joining their families back home. I enjoyed encouraging them to take one step at a time. I may have had patients whom I couldn’t satisfy no matter what I do, but every time I see the patient’s health improve, that alone would fill my heart with joy. I also enjoyed my job as a manufacturing specialist. We were rarely supervised and we had reasonable breaks that nobody really monitored. There was no clocking-ins and out yet employees were always on time. Through this job, I learned that following people up and down and not giving them space, will result in less productivity. So what makes the jobs more enjoyable? I would say, achieving the desired goals based on your outstanding efforts, a reasonable compensation and appreciation. Less supervision transfers the responsibility to the employee forcing them to do their best. In my opinion, flexibility and less supervision will yield better results than constant supervision.

I use to hear one successful business man say that the “The satisfaction of an employee, is the success of the company/organization”. I have come to believe this proclamation. When you think about it, if the employees are bothered all the time, the supervisors are always pointing fingers at their faults and no appreciation; they will stop trying to go far and beyond their job descriptions. On the other hand, when their work is recognized and appreciated, they will try harder because they know that their efforts are not in vain. For a company who thinks that they should care less about their employees, most of the time they will deal with call-ins, sick leaves, abrupt job terminations etc. The employer will then be forced to keep on employing new employees. That means the company has to constantly pay for their orientation and training before they can be independent. This can be a waste of time and resources because after training the new employees, and after a few months of working, they realize that this job is not worth after all. They may quit or get fired for not being enthusiastic enough or not performing to the level expectation. The company will then go back to square one, therefore struggling on a daily basis to meet its goals and the needs of the customers. Appreciation is very beneficial to both the employer and the employee. It can be as simple as just saying “thank you” or holding an appreciation party every quarter.

Different companies have taken big strides to created programs that will ensure their employees a stress-free work environment. They have health and wellness programs on site, a free gymnasium equipped with showers, a room for meditation etc. The employees should take great advantage of these facilities in order to reduce their work related stress. There are also several programs and tips all over the internet on how to manage job-related stress. For example Segal, et. al., (2012) detailed five tips on how to manage stress.

1. Recognize the warning signs of stress e.g. feeling irritable, headaches, fatigue etc.

2. Take care of yourself e.g. get enough sleep.

3. Reduce stress by prioritizing and organizing i.e. manage your time wisely.

4. Improve emotional intelligence e.g. realize that you are stress.

5. Breaker the bad habits e.g. resist perfectionism and clean up your mess.

Reference

MelinePlus. (2012). Medical Dictionary . Retrieved from http://www.merriam- webster.com/medlineplus/stress.

Perman, C. (2012). America’s most stressful jobs 2012 . Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/id/45859025/America_s_Most_Stressful_Jobs_2012 Segal, J., Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, R. (2012). Stress at work.

Tips to reduce and manage job and workplace stress. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/work_stress_management.htm

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