Poor Stress Management Can Affect Your Career
Stress at work comes in many forms. You can have a long commute that wears you down, an overbearing, demanding boss, a heavy workload that seems to increase daily or customers who never seem to be satisfied. Add to that the stresses of your everyday life, such as a constant lack of sleep, making sure your kids get to and from their after-school activities, getting dinner on the table every night, handling family disputes and dealing with anxiety about the future.
At some point, you may just burn out by trying to keep the candle lit at both ends. In turn, your work begins to suffer, and eventually that overbearing boss is going to notice. Next comes a meeting with human resources about your work performance, and then you are on your way to being passed over for promotions or raises.
Stress in the workplace, combined with family life stressors, can easily tear down your self-esteem, and your self-worth. It makes you feel bad about yourself because you can’t live up to the Superman/Wonder Woman image you have built up in your mind, that you should be able to do everything asked of you and your stress level keeps increasing the more you try to, and can’t, be invincible.
What Stress Does
Stress affects your memory, your ability to process new information effectively and can make concentrating on even the slightest task twice as difficult as it needs to be.
Many things that happen at work combine to make ordinary job stress that much worse. Some job stressors that many people encounter include:
- Earning a low salary
- Shouldering excessive workloads
- Seeing little opportunity for advancement where you work
- Staying engaged at a job that isn’t challenging enough
- Having a lack of support from colleagues
- Being limited in the amount of control over decisions that are made about job projects with which you are involved
- Questioning what is expected of you in your position and whether or not you are living up to it.
When your stress gets to the point where you feel it is uncontrollable or unmanageable, you begin to feel your performance levels slip, and eventually your co-workers will begin to notice a decline in your productivity and your dedication to your work, all of which is related to excessive stress. Even high achievers at work can experience stress and anxiety that makes it difficult for them to maintain their image at work.
When stress at work gets to be too much, you will eventually experience what is known as burnout, regardless of how much you like your job. You can get to the point where you would rather call in sick every day than face another day of stress and feeling out of control of your situation at work.
Maybe it is time to start looking for another job that’s more compatible with your skills — one you can better coordinate with your life demands. Maybe it is time to get some help. Reach out to friends and family. Find a therapist, someone who you know will really listen to your troubles and concerns and help you work them out. When stress starts to affect your career, your life begins to feel like it is snowballing downhill, fast. You need to be able to identify when — and why — your stress levels are getting too high. Then, you need to get help, or just get out.