November 30, 2010

How to Find a Less Stressful Job

Recently, the San Diego Reader reported that today’s workplace is more stressful than it has ever been in the past.

This stress is coming from a number of places: the threat of unemployment, the need to take a low-paying job to make ends meet, the lack of company expansions (making promotions more competitive), and more.

Says American Psychological Association executive vice president Norman B. Anderson, “Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they experience stress at levels that exceed what they define as healthy, putting themselves at risk for developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.”

If you feel like you’re part of this group, finding a less stressful job may be the best thing for your health. Here are some tips you can use to look for a job that allows you to feel calmer and happier:

  • Apply for college scholarships and grants so you can go back to school. With more education, it is easier to find a job in the field you want, as well as easier to find higher-paying jobs.
  • Consider changing your career path to choose a job relating to a hobby you enjoy. You can actually find unusual jobs like art dealing, wedding planning, being a stuntman, and more. These jobs aren’t ones that may quickly come to mind, but if you think outside the box, there are some really fun jobs out there.
  • Go into business for yourself. Owning a business is certainly stressful, but for those who are stressed by the lack of control they feel as an employee, going into business might be a great option. It’s about figuring out what stresses you and looking to alleviate that.

If you are stressed out, there are a few things you can do to leave your work (and stress) at the office:

  • Use your vacation days. So many Americans save up these days to take long vacations once a year, but sprinkling in long weekends throughout the year might be a better option for managing your stress levels.
  • If you bring work home, keep it in your home office. Don’t work on your laptop as you watch television with your family, review papers in bed, or check your Blackberry during dinner. Have a place for your work and don’t let it invade the rest of your life.
  • Talk to your boss about your stress levels. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of asking for help with a project when you’re feeling overwhelmed or trading tasks with others so that you’re all doing things you enjoy.
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