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What causes you stress at work?
Is there such a thing as a 'stress-free' job?

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24 replies to this topic

#1 lizzzard

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

I have been going through a very, very stressful period at work recently. I think I am particularly feeling it because the type of stress has shifted and I haven’t figured out how to rationalise this kind of stress yet. I used to stress about deadlines, and doing a good job. Now my stress is due to feeling accountable for decisions that could have a big impact on business performance...or the consequences of maintaining a stance on something that is in opposition to other very senior people in my organisation...etc... I also have alot of stress attached to work-life balance issues, mostly feeling compelled to travel (for several weeks at a time) when I really just want to stay at home with my kids.  On the upside though, I have a fantastic boss, lovely colleagues, decent pay...so I don’t stress about those things which must be a bonus  original.gif

I often daydream about apparently ‘stress-free’ jobs...but then I suspect that every job has it’s stresses, and some of them are probably ‘felt’ just as much as the stresses I have in my job. I can’t imagine handling the stress of making life-and-death decisions for example.

So what causes you stress at work? Is it a little stressful or very stressful in your experience?

Edited by lizzzard, 05 February 2013 - 09:00 PM.

#2 Lyn29

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:13 PM


Edited by bye, 29 March 2013 - 02:43 PM.

#3 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

At the moment I am stressing at work because I think after teaching in a non contact role for the year, I have forgotten how to program. I don't know what to do for these little people.

Even though I know what to do for these little people!

I realise that sounds contradictory but what I mean is I know how in that I have been taught, I have done it before etc etc, but I feel extremely overwhelmed at the moment when I look at what they need (which is a lot of intense work, to be perfectly honest) and I don't know how to provide it.

Even though I know.

Argh!  ohmy.gif

#4 cinnabubble

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:28 PM

I went through a period of fantasising about working a checkout because at least I'd know that I'd achieved something that day. Being powerless, yet responsible, is stressful.

#5 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:28 PM

I really enjoy the line of work I do however, I work for the public service. What annoys me and often is a cause of stress are people who are lazy, deliberately put no effort in and pass the buck to everyone else, people who have no work ethic etc, think your "stereotypical" government employee.

But I have learnt not to take work home or worry too much anymore. I do what I need to do and can and ignore everything else.

#6 KT1978

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:28 PM

I've been known to dream of a lawn mowing or meter reading job.  biggrin.gif

I ignore the sunburn and dogs and rain, and just imagine myself being fit, tanned and free of taxes and complicated thinking.  I ignore the pay drop too.

#7 KLF84

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

My stresses are after studying for years and knowing my stuff, getting good grades etc its time for me to put that knowledge into practice. My field is legal based and I stress about ill advising someone or not picking up something important or crucial in a matter. I guess experience will reduce that stress. I stress about letting myself and my boss (who has put alot of faith in me) down.

#8 JRA

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

Where do I start. The politics, getting the business to understand what is happening to them, getting different parts of the project talking to each other - so they understand what is happening around them, how in the hell to make it work, will it work, is it practical, how will it look when we are all gone.

#9 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

QUOTE (KLF84 @ 05/02/2013, 09:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My stresses are after studying for years and knowing my stuff, getting good grades etc its time for me to put that knowledge into practice. My field is legal based and I stress about ill advising someone or not picking up something important or crucial in a matter. I guess experience will reduce that stress. I stress about letting myself and my boss (who has put alot of faith in me) down.

Yeah, that's what it is. I did all the study, I had good practical experiences and for crying out loud I have been doing it for 3 years now.

But what if I let everybody down? sad.gif

#10 KylieY

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

Everything about my job stresses me out. I've was put in a different role when the company changed my department and since then I've been under a lot of pressure. And given that I work only 3 days 9am to 3pm, it makes it even worse.

I take the good with the bad. As a mum to 2 kids the hours are perfect and I'm around the corner from home and school. I try to remember that when i'm having a very stressful day. Which is often! LOL

#11 darcswan

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:56 PM

My stress at the moment is related to a lack of autonomy and control.  All I want is responsibility and accountability for something.  Instead, information is being controlled and the goal is unclear.

I am new, so can't have a tantie and haven't figured out who to influence and how.

#12 dynamitee

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

I started a new job two months ago after being at my previous workplace for over 14 years.  

Firstly I'm not sure how much or little I need to be reporting to my employer, considering I was nearly completely autonomous at my previous workplace.  I find that really difficult so I tend to be more submissive than I should be because I'm doing the same type of work as in my previous role.

I'm also finding the lack of structure difficult to deal with.  It's a small business (four of us internally) and the couple that owns the business are used to winging it.  I was great at winging it in my other workplace, but here I feel like I can barely breath.  

It's good money though so I'm pushing through, and it seems there might be some great opportunities arising which are great for my career.  I just have to keep it all in perspective.

#13 niggles

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

Political instability influencing my security of employment. An awareness of this influencing the nature of the work we are willing and able to engage in.

The nature of the material I work with can be distressing. There are times where it gets on top of me.

Not having the time to produce work of a standard I am happy with.

#14 Mitis angelam

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

IME, every job has its stresses, but they're all different.

Over the different jobs I've had, there's been stress from bullying management, from having too few resources to do the job properly/safely, from job insecurity, from inconsistency of expectations and poor communication, from difficult colleagues who thought the company revolved around them, from my own health issues and how that impacts my ability to cope, from exploitative work practices...and I mentioned bullying management, right?

It's the bullying that completely breaks down my ability to cope.  When management are supportive and work with their subordinates, I can deal with the rest without too much issue.

#15 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:38 PM

For me, it's the secret fear that despite being in my 5th year of teaching, and having played an instrument for the last 20 years, that I have no idea what I'm doing.

I do.

But I still turn up to work going "OMG I'M IN CHARGE OF 390 PEOPLE'S LEARNING. WHO THE HELL LET THAT HAPPEN?!?!?!?!"

Apart from that, at this point in time it's being a firmly non-religious person in a Catholic school setting causing some minor waves within my own psyche.

On the upside, I've had several of the other teachers tell me their own upper-primary kids have come home singing my praises, which is very confidence inspiring.  Let's see if they still think that at the end of the year!

#16 ballogo

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:59 PM

Have I stretched each child enough?
Have I reached and engaged my weaker learners?
Why haven't I covered as many areas of learning as other teachers?
What if my students are not engaged?
How do I keep each child in my class engaged?
Do I have enough hard evidence to support my reports?
Can I justify that mark to the parent? Do I have proof?
Have I given 'marks' in a fair and just manner?
Am I keeping up with the latest IT advances and am I able to use and engage my students with this knowledge?
Why can't I reach x child?
How do I help little Fred to remain on task?
Have I covered the curriculum?  Why haven't I covered the curriculum?

Where have all the hours in the day gone?  How can I complete things in time?

......Those are just a few for me as a teacher.... Add the stressors of being a full time working mum to three children and the primary bread winner..... and you can correctly assume that my stress level is quite high!

BUT.... I love teaching!  This is my second career and I've been doing it for just over 13 years.  I have chosen to go into this job and every year I go back for more.  The stress is worth it when I see one of my weak learners suddenly show inferential reading skills.  Or when I discover that open ended maths investigation which engages every learner in my class room.  Or those days when the kids and I just click and we just roll through the day in great excitement about what there is to learn.

#17 Rosiebird

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

Definitely the whole possibility of killing people thing.
And the sticking sharp pointing things into the wrong place thing.
And the getting sued as a result of killing people and sticking sharp pointy things into the wrong place

But mostly the killing people thing.

Edited by rosiebird, 06 February 2013 - 12:12 AM.

#18 .Jerry.

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:15 AM

My job is very stressful as despite what many parents think, school principals DO agonise over every decision they make.
My job is stressful due to
- dealing with children's inappropriate behaviour
- bullying, which is VERY hard to sort out, even with suspensions etc.
- being the responsible person on site for EVERYTHING - student welfare, staff welfare, curriculum, WH&S, finance, facilities
- having to be at the beck and call of everyone..
- dealing with department rules / policies that I don't agree with personally.
- dealing with staff who really should not be in their jobs

I am close to giving up on this job as I feel a ball of stress regularly... sad.gif

#19 Fr0g

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

Sometimes I dream of retail.

  • My stresses include not providing suitable interventions to support young people.
  • Or targeting areas/ issues which are beyond interventions.
  • Watching the news and knowing instinctively who the police are looking for or who has been arrested.  And usually being right.
  • Coming to work and seeing your voicemail light flashing, and assuming one of your clients is in big trouble. And usually being right.
  • Or doing fantastic work with awesome young people, and sending them back to family environments where you know it will unravel very, very quickly with dire consequences for the kid and the community.
  • Knowing I work for an organisation where policy comes first, and people come second. Really evidenced when our minister becomes involved, or a client dies.
  • Working with some colleagues who undermine staff who dare to put people first.
  • The working environment which seems to assume that a few people can do massive amounts of work, which should be done by a team twice the size.
  • Due to being overworked, you KNOW you have to let some things slide, which leads to guilt and cues all of the above stresses!
  • Fear of physical harm - the stress of hypervigilance.

I do love, love, love my job - after stressful situations pass, I am again reminded of why I do what I do and why I'm passionate about my responsibilities to my clients, and to my role.

#20 Crinkle cut

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:31 AM

Being powerless, yet responsible, is stressful.

Yes, this was me in the role I was asked to do last year.  Someone else making al the decisions, but me responsible for them.  Calls after hours and on weekends.  Unpaid impromptu hour or two long meetings regularly.  HATED it.  Passed the role onto someone else, but still have to continue to provide info and teach aspects of it (That I was never taught beacause the last person left giving 1 days notice.  I had to figure it out myself through googling and reading bloody manuals so a lot of the time I don't know the answer to the problem and have to figure out a solution as best I can on the spur of the moment!)

Now she and my supervisor are at logger heads so now it's a whole different type of stress.  

I took this job because I wanted a stress free role.  Hmmm...

#21 ManyHats

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:47 AM

QUOTE (Sunnycat @ 05/02/2013, 10:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really enjoy the line of work I do however, I work for the public service. What annoys me and often is a cause of stress are people who are lazy, deliberately put no effort in and pass the buck to everyone else, people who have no work ethic etc, think your "stereotypical" government employee.

But I have learnt not to take work home or worry too much anymore. I do what I need to do and can and ignore everything else.

I can sympathize with you 100%.I too work in the public service (federal dep) and I've come across many who just don't have the initiative and pass on the job to someone else. Simple tasks, they pass on. Only a minority though.

#22 Coffeegirl

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:49 AM

I'm stressed because I the owner is a hot head.  He p*sses off suppliers, and I get to deal with a sudden lack of stock.

And the meh attitude from the stores when they miss something from a customer's order.   I'm the one that cops the complaint, yet the ones who make the error aren't held accountable....

Oh and the lack of communicatiion.  I hate getting slammed for something not being available when I didn't even know it existed in the first place  rolleyes.gif

#23 She's Crafty

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:12 AM

Part time retail - no stressors (unless you work for someone horrible) but low job satisfaction.  I used to manage a large turnover store with quite a few staff - managing people has it's difficulties no matter what the industry - played sport and was studying my masters externally.  There wasn't a free second of the day and I thrived on it.  Would have considered my strengths to be time management, working under pressure etc.  Got a job in a HR firm where I was getting to combine previous experience with study and VERy excited about it.  I always knew I had more to contribute to the world than retail management.  Most soul destroying experience of my life.  New role, no supprt, tole I was useless.  I was very hosent in my interview that although I had the knowledge I would need assistance transition to new environment - office environment was new to me.  When I asked questions was told to 'use my initiative' then my work was torn apart.  When I didn't ask questions and tried to use initiative I was asked why I didn't consult someone.  I didn't last long.  Fast forward 3 years and I am home with my son and getting ready to enter the workforce and am PETRIFIED of feeling like that again.  I'm not stupid and have a good mind for business and people management but I'm worried I'll settle for part time retail and not challenge myself.

SO what strsses me at work - PEOPLE and their lack of support.

#24 Shadowess

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:29 AM

My stress is that my fed gov department has restructured my professional stream, and now I'm in a job that I hate. There's also very little work to do, and I'm constantly having to ask or more work, whereas my last job was busy, I ad responsibility for stuff, and I could just get on with it myself.

My dd1 has just started kindy as well, and I hate that she has to do before and after school care, 4 days a week, just so I can go to a job I hate. That's pretty stressful.

At this point in time, a check out chick job is looking pretty appealing.

#25 cinnabubble

Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:37 AM

I have the opposite problem to many of the public servants here. My colleagues are smart, dedicated, experienced and innovative, yet the powers that be keep outsourcing our work to large consultancies. So the dedicated and knowledgeable staff are reduced to managing consultants who produce shoddy simplistic work at massive cost to the public purse. That's also stressful.

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