Stress in career is a natural phenomenon A career without stress is like an engine without pressure unable to operate to its full efficiency. Imagine a day in your work when there are no deadlines, no schedules, no meetings and no unexpected demands. You may like it for a day or two, but life and work seem to have lost their excitement if the situation continues for long. You start idling away your time, energy, resources and more often than not lose your efficiency in handling work and people. Some get used to it and keep losing efficiency, while some end up asking “when will I get back to my busy routine?” Conversely, there are many, who can’t handle stress, lose their efficiency and cause irreparable damage to their careers. Let us address such people and find a way of managing stress and careers in the most efficient way.
“Stress is not what happens to us. It is our response to what happens and response is something we can choose” Maureen Kil„loran. Let us imagine that you came to work with a perfect mood pleasant, positive, organized and started clearing your ‘To Do List’ of the day. You have stretched targets for the day completion of a project compiling feedback from the market survey preparing a presentation for tomorrow’s review meeting and so on. You are confident that with an additional hour or two in the evening, you will be able to complete all the work. It was at that point of time you received a message that your departmental head wishes to hold a meeting on the proposed visit of the CEO scheduled next week. You receive the message with a big frown and mutter loudly, “Oh! No not now”. You close all your work reluctantly and move into the meeting room. Your ‘To Do List’ stares at you and you start feeling the pressure of work undone and stress begins to take over.
The Choice? Different people respond to the changed situation differently and the difference is in making the choice.
Be Pressurized. One choice is to move into the meeting room fully pressurized with your face showing irritation, displeasure and eagerness to go out of the meeting at the earliest. You do not pay adequate attention to the proceedings which does not go unnoticed and become subject to constant queries and reminders from the departmental head. You become aware that your moods have been captured and are further pressurized one thing adds to the other.
Put on your Thinking Hat. Another choice is to think and say, “Such interruptions are expected and I need to handle them with calm and composure. Let me put them in perspective and see what best I can do.” Such thinking can lead to two options talk to the departmental head about the urgent impending tasks in hand and seek postponement of the meeting; or communicate to the stakeholders about the revised schedules or attend the meeting, put in few extra hums of work after the meeting and complete the ‘To Do List’ in time.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”- William James.
Stress Management is all about choosing the right thought and taking up the right choice. Many people lose their cool when faced with difficulties, challenges and unexpected situations, lose efficiency and ultimately have to say goodbye to their jobs.
Manage Stress; Manage Career: You can have a great career if the habit of managing stress is developed. It can be done by following few simple steps:
Be Proactive. A proactive person plans in advance, does not wait till the last moment, anticipates likely hiteiTuptions formulates contingency plans and retains some additional time and resources as a cushion. By being proactive interruptions can be accepted with a smile and resolved efficiently.
Don’t get upset. Inspire of being proactive, there could be unexpected situations and in such a scenario, the first reaction of many is to get upset and keep blaming themselves or the person who caused it or the situation. It worsens the matters and causes irreparable damage to their reputation, position and relationships. The mantra is not to get upset. Accept the interruptions since you don’t have any control over it but, exercise control over what you can; that is your thought and response.
Take time to think and re plan. Take a step back, relax and re-plan. Take all parameters of the changed situation into account, their magnitude and effects on your ‘To Do List’. Draw up a revised plan by taking all the stakeholders into confidence and try your best to do justice to your regular work and the additional demands.