Job-related stress can be especially hard on singles
While we may not have a family to support, we still have all the financial responsibilities that come with running a household. What's more, we're a one-income household, without a second paycheck to fall back on should we lose our job.
Some workplace stress comes from management's never-ending quest to do more, faster, with fewer employees. Computerization has helped, but the truth is that human beings can only work so fast.
If a person's all-out, fastest typing speed is 60 words per minute, it doesn't matter that the computer is able to process a million words a minute.
Here's how it works in the hierarchy. The higher you are to the top, the greater the stress. Now we might think bosses don't get fired; they do the firing. But everyone, including the president or CEO, has a boss.
Even the board of directors in big corporations have a boss: the stockholders. Stockholders can vote out the directors.
Now the result of all this job-related stress is that every boss passes their stress down to their subordinates.
Just after WW II, Edwards Deming, a consultant rebuilding the economy of Japan, discovered threatening workers does not make them more productive.
But companies eventually ignored Deming's findings and went back to old ways. Human nature being what it is, bosses think yelling and firing are both effective ways to motivate employees.
What has been the result?
In tragic cases, a worker pushed beyond their breaking point gets a gun and murders his supervisor and several colleagues. That certainly doesn't excuse workplace violence, but it may explain why it happens.
Quotas have to be met. Things are moving faster than ever. Individuals carry heavy responsibilities. A demanding tone or word from a boss can make you feel that your job is at stake.
You may be doing the best you can, yet it still isn't good enough. Then what do you do?
Break time isn't just time for coffee or a soda. It's time for God.
We need to keep reminding ourselves that God is with us, protecting us. That doesn't give us license to slack off, but rather it gives us a resource that nonbelievers don't have. God answers our prayers for creativity, patience, and calmness.
During your break times, take a deep breath, say a silent prayer break, and ask God to help you make the best use of the talents he's given you. Try to avoid gripe sessions. They only make you more angry and dissatisfied.
When you get anxious, God is always peaceful. When you're afraid, he's your strength and protector. God is never rushed. As a believer, you can ask the Holy Spirit to give you a calm, confident attitude in spite of job-related stress.
One way to reduce job-related stress is to build up an emergency fund. Being a good steward of your money means saving for a crisis.
This is hard to do but has such enormous benefits that you simply can't put it off. Knowing that you have enough money to carry you until you find a new job is immensely empowering.
If you commit to saving for your future and ask God to help you, you'll be surprised how he changes your attitude toward "stuff" you thought you couldn't live without. Surprise! You can live without it.
A heavy load of debt can add to your job-related stress, too. It makes the stakes higher if you lose your employment.
Whittling down your debt and building up your savings will go a long way toward easing your stressed-out feelings.
When I was a little boy, only 9 or 10 years old, worried about a test at school, my Dad once said to me, "As long as you do your best, we'll always be proud of you."
God is saying the same thing to you today.
One of the hallmarks of Christian integrity is that we always give our employer our best effort. We earn our pay. We're conscientious. We do everything in our personal power to help the company succeed.
When you do that--when you honestly do that--going home at night knowing that you couldn't have done any more, God is proud of you.
An unfair boss may berate you, threaten you, or demand that you do more than you're capable of, but in the end, you can only do your best.
When you do your best, job-related stress takes on a different tone. When we do our best, we can trust God that he will work things out.
Sometimes people who do give it their best get laid off. That happened to me. But God helped me find another job and helped me put my life back together again.
Be a wise steward of your money. Be a hard worker. Do your job to the best of your ability.
If you give your employer the same effort you would give God if you were working directly for him, God will always find work for you to do. Knowing that will go a long way toward helping you handle your job-related stress.