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Fast-paced job stressing me out

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, May 14, 2017

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Dear Career Advisor:My concern may seem strange but I hope you can help. I am relatively new in the job market. This is my second job, and though I love it, it is causing me a high level of stress. The work environment is very fast-paced and requires a high level of accuracy. I actually don't have a problem with my job functions, as in my previous job I worked in a difficult situation performing well under pressure and actually loved doing so. But many days at work I feel very stressed and I fear letting my boss know for fear of being let go.

What do you suggest I do?

Yours truly,


Dear Nicky,

As the psychologists often say, stress is not always negative; a little stress can often spur increased energy, re-direct focus and propel higher levels of productivity. However, while it is normal to have some form of stress in the work environment, if it is not managed it can negatively affect your productivity and performance.

From your narrative about the work situation, it does not appear that the stress you are experiencing is being caused by the job function but by other prevailing work environment factors. Here are a few tips for dealing with job and/or workplace stress:

• Track your stress

Learn to identify what is triggering your stress. It might be useful to keep a journal of your activities for a few weeks. Once you have identified the source, it is easier to take steps to manage it.

• Reach out to colleagues

Find out if others are experiencing similar stress while at work and find out what strategies they use to cope.

• Seek support from family members

Don't complain to them about your job. Instead, focus on building interaction. The assurance of their support will enhance your confidence and reduce your vulnerability to negative reaction to stress.

• Build your network of friends

Socialising with friends can help you to unwind so you are mentally better prepared each day.

• Establish boundaries

Ensure that the boundaries of your job expectation and performance are clear to you, and that you give focus to doing what is expected of you.

• Learn to relax

At the end of each workday, engage in simple activities that can help you to unwind.

• Develop a positive attitude

View your work tasks, co-workers, and environment in a positive light.

• Exercise regularly. This includes taking short breaks at work.

• Adopt healthy eating habits

• Get adequate rest and sleep

If after trying the strategies above you find that you are still experiencing the same level of stress at work then it could be time to seek professional help as well as talk with your supervisor.

All the best.


Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at




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