Job Stress: Sources and Suggestions

Job stress is a universal equalizer. Everyone has experienced it or will experience it at some point in their lives. And it seems like stress in the workplace has only increased in recent years. A study conducted by Harris Interactive in 2001 (see link below) reported that nearly 80% of respondents reported some stress on the job, and 25% felt like screaming because of the stress. Another study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that 40% of respondents identified their job as very or extremely stressful (see link below). From these statistics, I believe it’s fair to extrapolate that, if you’re reading this, you have felt or are feeling stressed in your job.

The American Institute of Stress identifies that stress can be found when a person perceives high demand, but feels they have little control. And I think we can all relate to being stressed by feeling we have little control, either in our work lives or elsewhere. Some jobs may be more or less stressful, but job stress can happen to anyone. As the American Institute of Stress puts it, “It is not the job but the person-environment fit that matters.” Where one person might be exhilarated by working a high profile, high pressure job, another person would be completely overwhelmed. Similarly, while some people find low pressure jobs fulfilling, other people might feel stressed by aspects of the position.

Sources of job stress can come from many different places, including increased responsibility, uncertainty about your work role, poor communication, bad working conditions, a lack of support, or feeling that you lack control, to name a few. And depending on who you are, some of these things will be more stressful to you than others. You might be okay with some uncertainty about your role if communication were better, or vice versa. Everyone will experience job stress in a different way, and everyone will react to it differently.

So what can you do about it? Well, there are a few things, but ultimately it will come down to what’s best for you as a person. To help you figure out the best approach, here are some tips on dealing with job stress from Career Solutions Group:

  1. Communicate with your manager. Hopefully regular meetings are already a part of your work environment, but if not then consider scheduling one to discuss job expectations. This could be a chance for you to address any confusion or stress regarding your role, your impact on the company, and potential improvements to be made.
  2. Get a work planner. For my part, I know I would not be able to function without my planner. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount there is to do, consider getting a “work planner” to keep track of deadlines, meetings, and important projects. This will help you stay organized and stay on top of your responsibilities.
  3. Be willing to say no. Sometimes we take on more than we can reasonably do because we are afraid to say refuse. If you feel overwhelmed, be willing to speak up and say that you can’t work on a project right now.
  4. Take care of yourself. Every job has good days and bad days, and we as human beings tend to fixate on the bad more often than the good. So if you’ve had a rough couple of days at work, take some deep breaths. Make yourself some tea and take an evening to relax. Unplug from your work email and social media, and take some time to just exist without job or social stress weighing down on you.
  5. Time to move on. If your job is the source of more stress than you can reasonably deal with, and if you can’t implement any techniques to make it bearable, it might be time to leave. You are worth more than your job, and your health should come first. Be willing to take steps towards a new direction. Who knows? A better, less stressful job may be waiting just around the corner.

Are you thinking of making a career transition? Career Solutions Group can help you make a successful change with our proven career formulas. Email us at to find out more. We offer free initial consultations and have helped hundreds of career changers make successful switches.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group

Study from Harris Interactive can be found here:

Study from NIOSH can be found here: