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New Job Stress - How to Deal with the Stress of a New Job

Updated on March 20, 2011

The first requirement of any new job is a well-defined chain of command and a reasonable immediate boss. Recognizing the potentially good boss is a skill that can make or break a career. The bad boss is slow to praise, quick to blame, unapproachable by those inferior to him, sycophantic to those who are more important, hides his own inability by dividing and ruling so that he never has a workforce united against him and no one quite knows where they stand. Needless to say, his insecurity is such that he never delegates and undermines his own appointees. Whereas the good worker knows that he must divide his time between Hp home responsibilities and those of the organization, the bad boss expects total commitment. Not for him the kindly best wishes on a birthday, the congratulations on a daughter's marriage or a child's scholarship.

Conversely, the good boss worries about his staff, it used to be that all the new employees learnt that the customers came first, the staff second and the profits for the shareholders third. Now short-termism reigns supreme. Bonuses are often the first consideration, profits the second. It is questionable whether the customers or the rank and file of the staff are the least important. The good boss will not only look after his staff but will be equally concerned about the long term-future of the firm on which the staff's future depends. The self-centred boss will regard the firm with no more lasting interest than does a farmer fattening his stock for Christmas. Once Christmas, in the form of a financially advantageous takeover, has arrived, staff and firm may disappear like dew in the morning. This state of uncertainty created by the avaricious chief executive or chairman without human values so undermines morale that tensions and stress are inevitable.

What is death to satisfaction from any job is reporting to more than one boss, each of whom is of equal status within the organization. This causes huge stress, and inevitably the luckless person who has to do it will be drawn into departmental politics. Every day will be stressful. If the employee is in a position to leave, he or she will be well advised to do so. A few years ago, an advertising agency headhunted the boss of an almost equally distinguished public relations company to be its chief executive. There was no way he could have found out that the role of chief executive was so subservient to that of chairman that he had no power - only responsibility. He left.

Some people's work is made untenable because they are given responsibility beyond their experience or ability. In other instances work becomes untenable because qualities and skills are not recognized and their decisions are overruled. If people either have insufficient control to do justice to their capabilities, if they are given inadequate resources, or have insufficient skills to do their jobs, they, too, should move on if they can. Few people can be at ease with themselves if their skills are either under-utilized or overstretched. There are two other basic requirements in any appointment. Pay must be commensurate with responsibility and equal to that contemporaries employed in similar positions. It is very easy for a few months - even a year or two Bp accept low pay for a fun job. But if, after a time, the workload increases or suffers setbacks and the salary doesn't change, then a low pay-scale will loom much more significantly.


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