Stress on the job

October 10, 2011 – It may be impossible to find a job that is completely stress free, but there are jobs that have higher or lower stress levels than others.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health explain that stress on the job comes from a variety of issues, including physical danger, job insecurity, major change and long hours with few breaks. Still, stress is subjective, and what’s stressful to one person may not necessarily be stressful to another.

Jobs with higher stress levels may include sales and other positions that pay based on commission. Not only do people in this positions deal with the public, which can be stressful, but also their salaries are tied to how much they sell. Doctors and nurses may also suffer from stress because dealing with life and death is a normal part of their day-to-day job. The same goes for teachers, who may have to deal with out-of-control students and parents, and stockbrokers, who are at the mercy of the stock market and economy. Police officers, firefighters or combat soldiers, who respond to dangerous situations that may put their lives in danger, however, may hold the most stressful jobs.

Jobs with lower stress levels don’t necessarily equate with lower salaries. There are plenty of laid-back career choices that pay well. For example, physical therapists work in the medical field, which may be stressful, but their hours are usually much better than those of doctors and nurses, and many are self-employed, which means they don’t have to worry about a boss watching over them. Likewise, massage therapy carries extremely low pressure, as well as positions in the technical field, such as computer software engineers, who can often work from the comfort of their home. Civil engineers also fall into this category. Their jobs are not only plentiful, but their project deadlines usually carry longer terms, which means more time to get the job done.

Stress is a normal part of life, but high levels of stress can interfere with your productivity and affect your health if not kept under control. Managing stress levels at work is possible by taking responsibility for your physical and emotional well being, identifying any negative habits or attitudes that may add to your stress and eliminating them, and learning better communication skills to improve your relationships with your boss and co-workers.

When people feel stressed or overwhelmed at work, they often lose confidence and become withdrawn. Some of the other warning signs include loss of interest in your work, problems sleeping, trouble concentrating, stomach problems, and abuse of alcohol or drugs. If these warning signs go unattended, they can lead to bigger, more stressful problems.

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