Solving Work Stress

I’ve held a number of jobs over many years. But only recently have I figured out a strategy that has great potential for resolving career unhappiness.

I’ve held jobs of all sorts: clerical office worker, landscaping, college security guard and dry cleaning customer service, to name a few. Stress on these jobs has ebbed and flowed. And some are just inherently more stressful than others. Only recently, after a long and increasingly worsening experience, did I stumble upon a strategy that I should have been using for my whole life. Perhaps this is a trivial approach but nobody had given me this advice before.

It’s simple: every time you are unhappy submit a job application somewhere. And as your unhappiness increases submit more. As your job stops working for you the more likely it is that you will leave. And your departure will reduce your stress, if not permanently then at least temporarily. Moreover, it’s about the journey. Looking at those other options, talking with other people and realizing the availability of rich alternatives will place your stress in context and make it seem far less significant. You can always just move on.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this strategy is its potential when widely adopted. If employers know that making employees unhappy is rapidly increasing the likelihood of losing their workforce they will work harder to reduce stress sources. After all, it is very expensive to recruit and train replacements for people who are already in place.

I don’t yet know the impact of following this strategy for I’ve only recently discovered it. But I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

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