Congratulations on Your Promotion… Or Maybe Not!
If you didn’t get the promotion that you were hoping for, look on the bright side: you might be better off in the long run. During these times of economic hardship, it’s hard to imagine that rising in the ranks at work would be a bad thing, but in some instances, that appears to be the case.
In a study out of England, British researchers found that advancing in your career can sometimes lead to greater stress and strain, along with less time to deal with any problems that may arise from the added responsibilities as well as fewer opportunities to appreciate the fruits of your labors, irrespective of any monetary gains.
While the conclusions drawn from the study should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when you consider that not making enough money can be just as stressful, if not more, it is interesting to think that the so-called rewards for your hard work would impact negatively on your life. Then again, as is often the case, with greater income comes greater responsibility, and that often entails more stress, especially if the livelihood of other people rests on your shoulders.
In the end, we work towards the common goal of supporting ourselves, and it makes perfect sense that with this in mind, more is better. But it also begs the question, how much is enough? At what point does the stress from our jobs outweigh the benefits?
Most of us are familiar with the toll that stress can take on not only on us, but on our relationship with everyone around us. Besides the obvious declines in our quality of life, there are a whole host of serious physical manifestations, including heart disease, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, and even cancer.
To put it succinctly, stress can literally kill you, or at the very least, take years off of your life. So while you didn’t need me to tell you this, the bigger question is, what can we do about it?
While I don’t claim to have all the answers, or for that matter, even some of them, I have experienced more than my fair share of stress, and though at times it can be a motivating force, I have found it helpful to keep certain things in mind order to avoid letting it take over your life and literally consume you.
1. Listen to your body. Sure, part of the aging process means that our bodies begin to fall apart, and stress will only exacerbate this problem. But when stress starts to physically manifest itself as an irregular heartbeat of a constant pain in your stomach, then it’s time to reassess things.
2. Listen to your friends and family. Because they care about you. It’s easy for us to ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us, but our loved ones might not give in so easily. In fact, because they care about us, they’ll let us know that they’re not happy about the way things are going.
3. Use your vacation days. As tempting as it may be to cash them in, it’s more important to have time off. So take your vacation days, and more importantly, enjoy them. You’ll often find yourself more efficient and productive afterward.
4. Keep things in perspective and continually remind yourself why you’re working so hard in the first place, making time for friends, family, and yourself.
5. Don’t be afraid to make a change, especially when your current situation is bringing you down, and take chances when you can. Fear often prevents us from pursuing the things we really want, even when they are within reach.
6. Set realistic goals. Nothing will make you more stressed out than trying to do more than you can reasonably accomplish, even if your efforts impress the boss.
7. Figure out how much money is enough, rather than simply trying to make more, and set your career goals accordingly.
Maybe you have some thoughts you’d like to share on this topic. If so, we’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, remember that it’s your life, and while it’s important to have job and be a responsible member of society, it’s also critical to keep things in perspective and always remember who it is you’re really working for.
And I’m not talking about your boss.