How much stress can you handle from work?

It’s worth while to check in from time to time with you employment situation. While we all need some form of money to support our lives (needs and wants), it’s important to be aware of the effects on your mind and body.

Different factors will give different results; be sure to check the boxes that apply to you.

The “Kind” of Job You Do

Manual Labor

We recognize a job like these by the physical demands on the body. These would be the “working class” or “blue collar” jobs.

These types of jobs often come with long hours and low pay, but not always. It certainly depends on which category they fall into, either skilled (requiring experience or extensive training/apprenticeship and/or formal education) or unskilled (requiring no prior formal training).

Some examples of “unskilled” are:

  • Warehouse worker
  • Mechanic (various kinds)
  • Farm Laborers
  • Cleaners/Custodians
  • Cashiers/Store Clerks

Some examples of “skilled” are:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Paramedics
  • Soldiers

The distinction between classes is important when it comes to compensation.

Office/Desk Job

These jobs fit into the “white collar” class, as it’s been coined for non-manual labor jobs. More focused on the mental value of an employee.

This is the mid-level salary area to work, sometimes the pay is lower than manual labor, depending on experience and industry.

Some examples are:

  • Receptionist
  • Paralegal
  • Service Manager
  • Office Manager

While these are not as physically demanding, jobs of this nature can take a different toll on us…

Freelance/Contract

This category by far has the most potential for profit because it’s dependent on how much you want to work.

Jobs of this type are demanding both physically and mentally especially if it’s a sole proprietorship.

Maintaining all of the business requirements and fulfilling the work orders or service alone can be taxing to a human.

Job Difficulties

Every single occupation comes with it’s own line of challenges; the variation of challenges can be different depending on the person and company even across the same industry.

Complex Tasks

Do you regularly handle complex requests from bosses, supervisors or managers?

By complex, it’s implied that the problem in question has layers that need to be peeled back and resolved to get to the solution.

For example: A customer order was produced incorrectly, and was then shipped to the customer. The boss wants the situation cleared up post haste.

In this scenario, the appropriate measures to take would be to identify what can be done, and what order would be the most efficient. The wrong way to react is to just start rushing around in a chaotic frenzy trying to force the resolution to the issue.

In my experience in manufacturing, the following would be the appropriate steps:

  1. Identify HOW the product was made incorrectly. [This does not mean a witch hunt to find out WHO made it wrong… Those are foolish worries, when a customer doesn’t care who is responsible, they just want their product].
  2. Is the product repairable?
  3. If repairable, does the customer have time to send it back (and would it be quicker to repair or remake entirely?)
  • If not repairable, follow the procedures.
  1. Create a job in your database to encompass the remake [as if it were a brand new part, but note that it is a remake].
  2. Fast track the job through departments that can handle expedited practices. [If it was already drawn once, programming should kick it out quickly for the cutter machine].
  3. Make the job a priority ahead of other projects to get to vendors for final finish (plate, paint, powder coat, etc).
  4. Keep your customer informed as to the progress; if the parts have gone to a vendor, make sure the vendor knows they’re a priority for you, and pay any expedite fees if necessary.
  5. Inspect, and ship to the customer…

Crisis averted! The customer will be happy, albeit not as happy as they would have been had the parts been correct on the first try.

Poor Co-workers

If one thing makes people feel mad or happy, it’s their estimation of what OTHER people are doing.

I don’t practice this myself, as I’m more concerned with what’s in front of me, not how many times the guy from bending has used the bathroom today…

But, it does affect some people.

Contending with lazy, unmotivated, or “dull” co-workers is inevitable no matter what industry, or company we’re in. I’m sure even some people at SpaceX have questionable co-workers.

If you can’t get over how little help someone is in your job, perhaps it’s best to approach them directly, with firm intentions, but not in a negative way. Bring others up with you, don’t pull them down.

Poor Management

This is a complicated element of work. It’s not supposed to be derogatory either. Some management groups are just awful to work for, and anyone who has been in the workforce for long enough can attest to that.

This isn’t simply that an employee doesn’t agree with management, or feels their ideas are more valid. That does happen, but it’s not the objective of this explanation.

Management groups need to be leaders, and there is an important distinction between a “Boss” and a “Leader”.

A boss can be threatening, demanding and downright abusive at times. Bosses will take on the role of pushing people to get things done. Reminding those around them of their status in the company with remarks like “I am the boss, so do what I’m telling you”.

These people are likely to micro-manage a situation or group of employees.

Nobody wants to work for these kinds of people, they simply deal with it to get the paycheck, and assume it’s normal behavior. IT’S NOT, and it’s becoming less common to see these personalities in the modern era.

A leader is someone who has no problem getting down in the dirt with subordinates. They’ll lead by example, without hesitation. This type of person will pull people up, trample a path in snow to define a route for others to follow.

Leaders can be made, but some are naturally that way from childhood. A leader doesn’t diminish the morale of their men/women. A true leader will not micro-manage anybody either, they’ll allow people the autonomy to do things how they see fit (as long as the goal is achieved, and it’s within company policy and procedures).

Management should do everything they can to empower employees to make sound decisions, and enjoy the company they work for.

The best way to get production out of people is to make them feel valued, and not just with words but incentive to do better than baseline.

Job Benefits

Benefits can mean different things to different people.

When you have a family, it could mean health insurance for one, 401K/retirement, vacation time or sick/personal leave.

Benefits could be the boss buys pizza three times per year, or every third Friday is a half-day.

I’ve even seen a company with a weight-room for their employees, and a paid chef to cook their lunches!

Benefits are very important when considering an overall job and evaluating where you are in your professional life.

Are the benefits comparable to nearby jobs in similar industries?

This is an important fact to consider.

If a sheet metal shop offers some health insurance (50% employer contributed), 1 week of vacation after 1 year, and 3 holidays per year; while a shop 10 miles down the road offers great medical (80% employer contributed), 2 weeks of vacation after 1 year, and 8 holidays per year, and the same pay scale which one would you pick?

Exactly. You’re human, and more benefit is where you’ll go. So, take inventory of the benefits you currently have, and network to find out what you’re missing or what you have.

Decision Time!

Should you keep a stressful job because you’re comfortable?

Should you keep a job because “the benefits are good”?

Should you keep a job because of the pay?

These are all questions you have to ask yourself when determining you overall happiness, mental health, physical health, and the future of you and/or your family.

Ultimately, we all live one life, and it’s not a requirement to be miserable anymore; we have the freedom to determine our own happiness and choose our own paths through life.

Get out there, evaluate, and go forward in a clear direction.

However, I do not recommend you quit your job without doing your homework, and getting another job beforehand.

It is not good to be desperate and in need of a job if you walk out of your current company with no plans.

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