This is the third in a ten part series called, Takin’ Care of Business – Making Work Work for You.
With major lay-offs being announced almost daily, those among us lucky enough to have jobs, and especially those who have survived a lay-off, are often stuck in stressful situation. Taking on extra work due to lay-offs or hiring freezes inevitably leads to more demanding schedules and increased stress levels. Because jobs appear to be scarce and employees often have a difficult time finding other work, management, unfortunately takes advantage of employees that feel they have nowhere else to go.
As workloads increase and morale takes a nosedive dealing with workplace stress is no longer an optional task, it’s a critical requirement.Successfully managing your stress on the job involves tackling the issue on a number of fronts. Unfortunately, I’ve had some experience with this topic. So here are some suggestions that I used to make life a little easier, when the job becomes increasingly more difficult.
- Make a List and Check It Twice (a day): Think of the things you honestly like or enjoy about your job. When I made my list it included my co-workers (well most of them), sandwiches at the café near the job, the fact that I had my own office, and my favorite topics to train on. While there were a number of things that stressed me out, focusing on the people and things that I did enjoyed helped a bit.
- Walk It Out: Using my break times to take short walks helped immensely. The act of walking as well as getting outside and out of the office helped to immediately alleviate some stress.
- Talk About It: Find a sympathetic ear … who will let you vent. It could be a friend or a spouse but it helps if it is not a co-worker. When you confine in a co-worker, you run the risks of your venting becoming office gossip which could quickly make a bad situation worse.
- Drive Your Troubles Away: When leaving work, I made sure that I did not pull out of the parking lot until I had put on one of my favorite CDs. As I sang along (and okay, yes, did a little dancing), it helped me put work in perspective and keep it where it belonged … in my rearview mirror.
- Be a Lady (or Lad) Who Lunches: Like with the walks, having a lunch I enjoyed eating gave me a nice break. It’s even better if it can be enjoyed with friendly co-workers or at a place or in an environment you like. It is a great way to break up the day.
- Look Elsewhere: Yes, the economy is bad. Yes, jobs are hard to find … but that doesn’t mean they are impossible to find. Update your resume and start looking. Looking for other work helped me to feel that I had some control of my circumstances.
Not only did I look for other employment, I found it - leaving a very toxic situation for one that is much healthier. So while good jobs are hard to find right now, it's still possible to find one.