If you’re job-hunting, your deal breakers will probably be things like salary, benefits and career growth potential. But have you considered the stress-levels? Every job has some element of stress, but some are more (and other less) demanding than others. Of course, these perceived stress levels are often entirely subjective, as one man’s thrill and excitement can be another man’s morbid fear. However, it does help to know what criteria make a job a nightmare, or a breeze.
CareerCast.com’s latest 2012 survey reveals the world’s most (and least) stressful jobs based on a ranking system. Each job was ranked according to 11 demands, which are considered taxing; including deadlines, hazards, risk to life and physical demands. Before you continue your job search, be sure to check if your profession is on the list. It could be risky, or relaxing.
The most stressful job is …
According to CareerCast’s survey, being an enlisted military soldier will cause you to reach for the Xanax. Firefighters, airline pilots and police officers also all top the list. Half of them, in fact, involve the very real threat of losing your life, or helping other people to stay alive! According to Forbes, it’s interesting to note that most of these highly stressful jobs are male-dominated. For some reason, men tend to be more drawn to the rush of intense physical demands, and having a sense of criticality.
It also should be pointed out that many of these jobs don’t have very high salaries, and most of them are subject to budget cuts or skills shortages. According to the publisher of the Career Cast survey, the perfect ingredients for a hellish job are fear, emotional and physical demands, and knowing that you might not keep it!
The least stressful job is …
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the jobs that don’t involve risking life and limb. According to Career Cast’s survey, the winner is a medical records technician. The job description entails looking at patient medical history and entering in doctor observations, surgical interventions and treatment outcomes (About.com). No dodging bullets or putting out fires; just calmly entering data in a sterile environment. Interestingly, a number of other healthcare professions made the least stressful list, including audiologists and medical lab technicians. Other stress-free jobs are that of hairdresser and dress tailor. Surprisingly, the position of ‘Barman at Cayman Islands resort’ didn’t crack the list!
How to avoid stress in the first place …
If your industry isn’t in healthcare or beauty, don’t fear, as there are ways to beat work stress. It’s important to have a handle on your stress levels, regardless of your occupation. According to Psychology Today, uncontrolled stress leads to anxiety, depression and even social withdrawal. If your job is driving you to breaking point, Psychology Today suggests that when you get home, ensure that you turn off all technology (smartphone, TV, laptop, etc.) at least one hour before going to bed. Make this a habit.
If you feel like you’re not coping at work, try to negotiate your workload and have a look at your time management skills. Always prioritise and don’t get bogged down with unimportant tasks. Whatever you do, don’t watch the news to ‘relax’, as this will make you curl up on your couch, foetus-style. Lastly, accept the things you can’t control; like traffic jams, your co-worker’s bad attitude and your boss’s mood swings!
This guest post was written by Ang Lloyd, a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ang relishes the challenge of writing on a diverse range of topics, including how to find engineering jobs abroad.