Think Your Job is Killing You? It Actually Could Be.

Think Your Job is Killing You? It Actually Could Be.

Fellow career pro Holly Reslink recently shared an article from Huffington Post that talked about how people are less likely to die from second-hand smoke than from some stressors that arise from work.

That is a sad commentary on what our careers have become: work can now be considered a bigger threat to our livelihood than a substance that contains multiple carcinogens.

This really does give food for thought regarding the need for change. How could companies reduce the following risk factors for employees?

1. Low job control.

Hire great managers. Create a culture that embraces employees’ ideas and supports the development of its team members.

I don’t mean to sound flip about this because I can appreciate the challenges that come along with trying to put together an amazing workforce. By the same token, providing an environment that crushes the initiative of those folks who work for you isn’t going to help the company move to the next level.

2. Unemployment.

The economic downturn did hit hard, and sometimes layoffs/company closures are inevitable — even in today’s recovery period. But could companies be more responsible to the folks who contribute their talents to creating products and offering services that are valued by customers (which, incidentally, results in the leadership getting their nice salaries)? Yeah, they could.

Things like severance, connections to recruiters, and outplacement services, while not completely removing the worries, will help alleviate a little of the stress that comes from losing a job.

3. No health insurance.

This is a big one. Folks sometimes really feel like they are between a rock and a hard place. They need to have insurance because going without will incur penalties, and yet, the cost of insurance can be a big part of a monthly budget.

Simply put, providing insurance helps.

4. Long hours and overtime.

When folks are getting paid for the overtime they put in, they at least are getting something. Unfortunately, some companies just expect that salaried employees should work 60-70 hours/week with no extra compensation.

Can you say “burnout?”

5. Work-family conflict.

This experience isn’t just limited to women; as the expectations on dads increase, so does the stress over the choices that pit work over family and vice-versa.

Some benefits that could help families that face this struggle include:

  • Telecommuting
  • Jobsharing
  • Flex hours
  • Compressed work weeks

If companies would be part of the solution in curbing these risk factors, how much more productive and engaged could their workforce be? How much easier would it be to attract talented employees?

Careerists: what choices can you make in limiting these stressors from your life?

Image courtesy of krosk@

Melissa Cooley of The Job Quest, LLC unearths clients’ career examples to showcase the talents and results that make them must-hire candidates. Click here for more information on ways to partner with Melissa for your career success!

Melissa is a contributor to the book Nourish Your Career, has been quoted on,, and Quintessential Careers, has interviewed numerous times for The Voice of Job Seekers podcast, and has written guest posts for multiple job seeker blogs.

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