Stress is seen as an unavoidable part of having an adult career. Some people even brag about how tired and anxious they are as a result of their jobs. They have been conditioned to believe that dealing with stress at work every day is normal. They step into situations that make them feel constantly nervous and on the brink of a breakdown because they think those feelings are natural facets of impressive jobs. Stressful work environments are not healthy, and they should not be treated as if they are normal.
Many people are pressured into thinking that they have to endure stressful workplaces because of the precarious nature of today’s economy. They do not want to leave jobs they dislike without knowing for sure that they would be able to easily find new ones. They work overtime without being properly compensated, and they skip their breaks for fear of appearing lazy. Employers take advantage of their employees’ unwillingness to stand up for themselves. They assign demanding tasks knowing that their employees will do whatever they can to keep their jobs, even if they have to stay late at the office or bring the work home with them.
Another thing that contributes to stress at work is the knowledge that no matter how much effort one invests in her work, her paychecks will not be large enough to cover all of her expenses and allow her to lead the lifestyle of her choosing. Today’s young adults are carrying massive student loan debt, and their expensive degrees have not gotten them the jobs that they thought they were going to have after graduating. The sense that one will never break even financially creates an extreme feeling of defeat, though it would be unwise to react to this pressure by ceasing to work altogether. Continuing to work even though the salary is inadequate is a leading cause of discontent among the millennial generation.
Job stress is compounded by the lack of time available to pursue other interests. When a person spends a lot of time at work, her whole identity becomes tied to her job. This means that problems at work do not stay at the office. They are the only things going on in the person’s life. Maintaining an active social life is incredibly difficult if one is constantly worried about keeping her job.
It is not always possible to advocate for oneself at work, since everything comes down to the whims of her boss, who might not be entirely reasonable. Read more here about how to reduce stress outside of the workplace. One good way to cut down on office anxiety is to lead by example. She should try to inspire her coworkers to start working at more reasonable paces and to take all of their breaks. If possible, she could make some changes in her area of the office to eliminate interruptions that would impede her ability to work calmly. She could even make some minor lifestyle changes outside of work that would make her look forward to going to the office every day. Reducing workplace stress is necessary if one intends to build a long-term career and build a lifestyle around it.