Everyone has felt stress at work at some point, it's natural. Whether it be working to deadlines, an important meeting or even just working hard to get that much-needed promotion and pay rise. However, when the occasional work stress turns into daily work stresses then this this stress can have seriously adverse impacts on your health and you may find yourself coming dangerously close to burning yourself out.
In Germany, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, stress at work is becoming so bad that it has been described as a burnout epidemic. According to Gallup, an organization that collates data from the public, it has been found that an estimated 4.1million German workers have suffered from mental illness due to work stresses. This has led the average of 15.8 days a year of illness for workers who have suffered anxiety or mental illness at work compared with a 7.1 day illness average with those who did not suffer excessive stress. This high level of absence is thought to cost German employers around 9 billion euros a year in lost productivity, meaning that employers should really invest in a well-being program for their employees, yet only 29% of Germans believe their employer actually cares about their mental well-being.
So which employees feel the most stressed? Well each job comes with its own unique elements of stress, however certain job areas are thought to be more stressful than others. This is mainly due to working hours, working conditions, work load and consequences for mistakes. Here are just some of the most stressful careers that you can be employed in:
Some might scoff at the idea of teaching stress, after-all this is a career that comes with many benefits such as long holidays, good maternity cover and secure pay. However, teaching is still an incredibly stressful job mainly due to the incredibly high workloads that teachers face. Teaching is far from just teaching between the lesson bells every day - tasks such as marking and lesson planning means that teachers are working well into their evenings. Then there's the fact that this job comes with an incredible responsibility (and stress) to ensure students do their best. And, of course, difficult students can cause ongoing stress for teachers.
Professional Poker Players
Whilst there are no official figures for the number of professional poker players, around 1.2% of adults in Germany play online poker for real money. For the majority of people, poker is seen as a hobby rather than a full-time career, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why professionals find it difficult to cope with the emotional impact of the sport, within such a small community of fellow professionals. Playing poker as a career might seem glamorous, but professional poker players must be highly disciplined, as they have no guarantee of a steady income. However, it's not just the financial side of professional poker that impacts players. Many poker players have revealed that the strain of staying alert and over-analyzing opponents during long tournaments can leave them feeling emotionally drained.
Medical professionals work long hours with very little breaks and yet have the biggest responsibility of any industry: to save lives. Everyone from GP's to nurses and ambulance staff feel the daily stress of their chaotic workplace where there's not only the stress of treating patients but also the emotional turmoil of losing one.
Not every job involves putting your life on the line, but for police officers every shift can be a risk to their life depending on what emergency they get called to. But it's not just the stress of dealing with dangerous criminals and situations that can make the job of a police officer emotionally draining. There is also the intense pressure associated with solving cases as quickly as possible - especially when the media get involved. Then there's the fact that a police officer will never feel truly off duty. Whether it's witnessing a crime outside of working hours or the pressure of keeping up a professional persona even out of uniform, it can be hard to feel like a normal person at times.
If you are feeling incredibly pressured at your work then now is the time to take action. Stress will affect your health, your sleep and the relationships you have with others. A change in employer or career may feel like a daunting step, but it will be well worth it if it means you feel happier in your working life.