I know what I want. It is not wasting away on an island doing nothing. That is not my idea of bliss. Keeping my mind occupied is goal number one. A close second is keeping the mind occupied with meaningful work! But after a rough day, all I want is that mango martini on that deserted beach with only the sound of crashing waves. And I wonder to myself, what job is stress free?
What makes a job stressful?
Too Much Work
If work continues to outnumber the time we have in a day, guess what? It is fighting a losing battle. Fatigue is not caused by how much work one accomplishes in a day. Fatigue comes from the amount of work pending. It is exhausting to hit the sack knowing all that is left to do. Even more exhausting is the knowledge that no matter how hard I work, the workload is going to increase disproportionately.
Time away from loved ones
When you love your work beyond words, you do not count hours. More hours you contribute, bigger the joy. But there is a line in the sand. If work keeps you from people you love the most on a routine basis, the balance tilts. When you are away from family a lot, it matters if it is from your own personal choice or your company’s demands.
Feeling of helplessness
If I control my workload, how much and when, wonderful. But when corporations expect employees to problem solve with their hands tied, the feeling that here is nothing I can do to make this problem go away is frustrating and stressful
People People People
Once eating lunch with colleagues, we were exchanging notes on what we wanted to do next in our career growth. Most talked about roles and responsibilities. More money? Sure, why not? When my turn came, my answer astounded others. I wanted to work with people I respected and got along with. Period. For me, my work life is people, period. It is about making relationships. A bad relationship can make you feel alone and desolate at work and conversely, can be a magnet that brings you to work with imaginary springs under your heels.
In my opinion, realistic goals and cautious autonomy yields best results. But let us say, we land a job with great people, good money, manageable workload, great work-life balance, would we be stress-free as a floating leaf in a gentle breeze?
My heart stops short in saying no. Because stress also comes from your heart and your reaction to circumstances. Some people can operate in stress and continue to spend time with their families and shrug it off. Some toss into the night.
Managing stress is a direct consequence of your attitude. And I will leave you with a quote I remember vaguely from my ancient history…
You cannot change the world around you but you can change your attitude and when you change your attitude, you will find you have changed your world.