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University of Maryland University College
ADM201 Principles of Self-Management
August 23, 20117
Please give special attention to the following items:
Along with every job comes a certain amount of stress. It doesn’t matter if one is an office worker, a factory worker, a lawyer, a doctor, a florist, a wedding planner, a baby sitter, a spa critic or a chocolate taste tester. There is some type of stress that is sure to follow. Sometimes simply juggling the job, family, finances and other personal issues can prove to be a difficult task for many. Many may know they suffer from job stress but they may not be able to pinpoint the cause or even how to handle it. Recognizing the issues causing the stress, realizing that their own characteristics could be an issue, and finding ways to manage the job stress are all very important for a successful professional life.
Job Stress in the Workplace
Kaiser notes that perhaps being jobless would be a better alternative to working when the topic of job stress is taken into consideration. Although it appears that work today is less stressful than it was in 1972, workers are still under a great amount of stress that can cause more issues than one may realize (Tausig, Fenwick, Sauter, Murphy, & Graif, 2005). Employees are reporting fewer job demands, less strain on the job, more ability to make decisions, and more job security (Tausig et al., 2005). Of course, these particular changes have not affected all workers the same. It seems as though women, those less educated, non- self-employed workers, and blue collar workers reveal the largest decrease in job stress (Tausig et al., 2005). Men, college educated workers, and white collar workers have reported higher stress levels (Tausig et al., 2005).
Approximately eighty percent of all workers claim they feel stress while on the job (Kaiser, 2012). Almost half of this 80 percent have indicated that they would like to have help in dealing with the job stress (Kaiser, 2012). Close to forty percent of all job turnover happens to be stress related (Kaiser, 2012). It appears as though men who do not vent about complications on the job double their chance of a heart attack or heart disease (Kaiser, 2012). In down-sizing, it was recognized that those who were dismissed are five times more likely to die from a heart attack, while those who are in the 50’s age group when let go are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within the next ten years (Hobson, 2010). It is very apparent that job stress is a very powerful element that can take a dangerous toll on a person’s body if not controlled.
Recognizing Job Stress
Recognizing job stress, or any stress for that matter, is a fairly simple task. There are many different side-effects that one may experience when under stress. There may be changes in ones eating habits, headaches, backaches and stomach aches. One may find themselves avoiding co-workers and friends, bringing about isolation (Estes). A decrease in one’s memory and ability to concentrate may be noticed and deadlines may be missed when they weren’t missed in the past (Estes, 2009). Fatigue, problems sleeping, loss of sex drive, irritability, and depression are a few key signs that one may notice (Estes, 2009). If one experiences any physical illnesses such as anxiety, depression or cardiac concerns, he may want to evaluate his job to determine if stress is the cause (Kaiser, 2012). All or any of these signs and symptoms should not be ignored, but rather taken very seriously and addressed as quickly as possible.
Causes of Job Stress
A huge cause of job stress that has been seen more and more over the past few years is the economy (Pace 2012). Staff lay-offs and lack of funds for training create a lot of uneasiness and insecurities which may lead to job stress (Pace 2012). With America’s unemployment rate reaching high marks and the price of goods going up, it is no surprise that people are negatively affected by job stress.
The lack of work-life balance appears to be a huge issue in the workforce when it comes to stress (Pace, 2012). Today’s family isn’t like it was in the past. Children seem to be more and more involved in sports and other after school activities. The family make-up varies from family to family and in most cases both parents must work just to pay the bills. It can prove to be very difficult to juggle the demands of family and work. A lack of balance can cause issues not just at work but at home as well.
Managing Job Stress
There are many ways one may find or try in order to manage job stress. Some may work better than others, depending on the individual. One must first realize that he cannot control everything in the work environment; therefore, he must focus on what he can control and that happens to be himself (Segal, Smith, & Robinson 2012). The better one, as an individual, learns to manage stress, the less negativity will affect him (Segal et al., 2012). Taking responsibility for improving oneself, avoiding any consequences that bring about negativity, learning better communication skills, organizing, prioritizing, taking care of one’s physical self, improving emotional health, and breaking bad habits are just a few ways to start managing job stress (Segal et al., 2012).
It may be important for one to step back and analyze his situation. If it is determined that techniques and making changes are not proving beneficial, one may need to decide exactly what the job is costing him emotionally and physically (2012). If there is a way to manage it, it may be best for one to step totally away for a short time while examining his strengths and weaknesses while seeking out new prospects (Kaiser, 2012). Whatever the route chosen or taken, it is important to find some way to relieve job stress due to physically and mental health.
Although most professions and jobs entail stress, it is an employee’s job to recognize the stress, determine what the cause of the stress is, and take proper action in finding a remedy or ways of managing the stress. There are many tools and a great deal of reading material available to employees that can be utilized in managing job stress. By taking initiative in ridding oneself of job stress, he is putting himself on the road to not only professional satisfaction, but also mental and physical satisfaction.
C., Estes, (2009 September 27). Recognizing red flags: Signs of workplace stress. Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/stories
Hobson, K. (2010, February). Beware: Your Job May Be Killing You. U. S. News & World Report, 147(2), 50. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/
Kaiser, L. (September 18, 2012). How to deal with workplace-related stress. The Daily Oklahoman, p. 2D. Retrieved from http://www.oklahoman.com/
Pace, A. (2012). Stressed out? stress levels at work are higher than they’ve been in years, according to recent data from the Kenexa High Performance Institute. T +D, 66(10), 14. Retrieved from http://www.astd.org/TD/
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
Tausig, M., Fenwick, R., Sauter, S.L., Murphy, L.R., & Graif, C. (2005). The changing nature of job stress: Risk and resources. In P. L. Perrewe & D.C. Ganster (Eds.), Exploring interpersonal dynamics (pp. 93-126). Amsterdam, Netherlands: JAI Press.
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