No matter what, every job is going to create some level of stress. Whether you’re feeling the pressure in order to finish a deadline or reach more customers, some degree of stress is normal. With that being said, if you are under chronic levels of stress, day in and day out, this is when you need to reassess your current occupation.
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According to a study, released for Everest College, over 80 percent of American workers are stressed about their jobs. When it comes to our hectic careers, there are plenty of contributing factors regarding this workplace stress in which so many can relate to. From tough bosses to long hours, stressful commutes to heavy workloads, stress levels are on the rise.
According to more than 1,000 adults who participated in this study, the biggest stressor was low pay, followed by too much work. If this is the case for you and you feel as though your career is getting on top of you, take a step back and see how you can make appropriate changes.
Of course, the most plausible solution would be to seek a new job, one that isn’t so stressful. How could you go about that? How could you possibly find a job that’s less stressful and then take action to secure a more rewarding and relaxing position, while still meeting your financial goals? Below is a guide that will help you with all of these questions in order to regain your mental health.
1. Identify Your Stressor
Each individual is unique in terms of their work and personal life. What will work for one co-worker, may be challenging and stressful for yourself. For example, your co-worker may be able to walk or cycle to work while you need to sit in two hours of traffic each and every day.
Their day begins with having a cup of coffee and then enjoying a bike ride to work. You, on the other hand, need to lose an extra fifteen minutes of sleep in order to enjoy that same cup of coffee. You know that you’ll be stuck in traffic for a long time day in day out which sends your blood pressure skyrocketing on a daily basis.
This is what you’ll need to first identify. What is it in your current career that is causing all this stress and anxiety? Moving forward, you’ll want your new position to be void of that stressor. We cannot control everything, but we can recognize stressors and make appropriate changes. If you find that work-life balance is the issue, for instance, then this is something you’ll need to consider when deciding on your next opportunity.
2. Look for Jobs That Match Your Needs
Based on the key stressor within your last job, perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Many individuals often have the idea that they need to build on one key skill or job which they should never leave until retirement. Although this helps build experience and knowledge, you may be missing out on a whole other world – a career which you truly find satisfying.
You can still reach financial success and work within a field you personally enjoy. Are you into fitness and are looking for a shorter workweek? Why not become a fitness trainer? This position made CNN’s list for jobs with under-40-hour work weeks. This is one specific example, but the sky is the limit. You can’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, especially when it is going to improve your overall well-being.
If you feel as though you’re lacking control in your current career which elevates stress levels, why not take action? Work towards an environment that increases this level of control, leaving you less overwhelmed. For some, this means building a business from home or seeking a position that allows them to work from home.
3. Ensure a Smooth Transition
Jumping from a job that makes you want to rip your hair out to a job you would truly enjoy, appears to make sense. If it was this simple, however, there would be a lot less people stressed out, right? The truth is, seeking a new job is something which you need to do strategically.
If you just pack up one day, leave the office and hope that your dream job is going to fall into your lap, you’re in for a rough road ahead. You need to do your homework or else you’re going to end up being more stressed than you were before. You want to experience the smoothest transition possible.
Before you put in your notice, make sure you have a goal in mind. Which area will you be exploring and how are you going to ensure you obtain an ideal position? If you don’t already have something solid lined up, there will be a few steps you’ll want to take.
First, do you have a cushion in terms of money? If you don’t find a job right away, are you okay for a few months in terms of your rent and bills? As you sort out your finances, ensure that your CV is updated, you’re active on LinkedIn, and you’re networking on a daily basis.
4. Move Down the Career Ladder
As you seek new employment or accept a new position, don’t be afraid to move down the career ladder. Sure, you may make less money, but you will also experience greater flexibility while reducing overall stress levels. Based on your identified stressor, as mentioned above, this may need to be the route you take. Decide how much you can afford in terms of a lower salary and consider that when moving forward.
Now, considering that you’re starting fresh, focus on your options. What is it that you’re interested in? Is there something you’d like to do? If so, you can look into part-time or volunteer positions while you’re still employed. This will allow you to test the waters so that you make the best possible decision for your future.
5. Appreciate Job Reports
There are plenty of job reports available, listing the least stressful jobs each year. These reports consider a range of factors which are then applied to a list of potential careers. Some of the key factors that are considered include physical demands, work conditions, travel, deadlines, and more.
In 2014, for instance, CareerCast.com considered 200 careers based on these various factors. There are plenty of options and although these careers are considered to be less stressful, individuals are still making good money. Some of these careers included an audiologist, a jeweler, dietician, and multimedia artist.
The truth is, no matter how much money you make, if you’re stressed out to the max on a daily basis, your career is going to catch up with you. Sooner or later, your health will begin to diminish and your body and mind will pay the price. Deciding it’s time to change careers is a big step and it’s normal to feel frightened and overwhelmed.
Transitioning to a less stressful job may be worrisome at first, but in the long run, you will highly benefit. Imagine being able to sleep at night and not constantly feeling as though you’re on edge. Although your current job may be the norm within your present commitments, chronic stress levels are not.
Do not wait until you have fallen ill or experience career burnout to make a change. If you have made an unsuccessful effort to reduce stress levels by addressing the key stressor, you truly need to weigh out your options. You can build a successful future without being buried in symptoms of stress and anxiety. Take the first step today, in order to better your future.