Along with many other target-driven industries, recruitment can feel incredibly stressful at times. It’s a fast-paced, competitive business, with targets to hit - not to mention juggling the expectations of multiple clients, candidates, and managers. For many it can mean long hours chained to the desk, doing everything you can to make sure you’re coming out on top.
This International Stress Awareness Week we want to highlight that stress should NOT be the norm in our industry. Whilst it’s not without its rewards - often with lucrative remuneration packages to compensate for the stressful working conditions, it’s time to start considering if the high OTE (I’m guessing your readers will know what this is) and status that comes with being the top earner is worth the potential health risks.
The signs of stress can sometimes be hard to spot and may seem like symptoms of a busy work and social life, but they can include:
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension or headaches
- Stomach problems
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of sex drive
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope
If you’re feeling like any of these apply to you take a few minutes to watch latest video: top tips for recruiters avoiding stress, or read on for the tips in full…
- Plan Ahead
Every evening before you leave the office, write up your to-do list for the next day. It not only clears your head before you go home but understanding what you’ve got coming up on the day you’re just about to walk into can drastically help alleviate stress at work. You shouldn’t be too rigid with your plan, allow time for unseen tasks and challenges
- Block Activity and Rewards
Within your plan, be sure to allow time for regular breaks in work activity. Block together activities with rewards. e.g. “when I complete this task, I’ll reward myself with a coffee and chat with my colleagues”. Just make sure you commit to multiple short breaks to avoid exhaustion throughout the day.
- Take a lunch break
Go out for lunch, leave the office, take the full hour and be sure to do something that’s NOT work related to ensure you maximise your downtime! Eating a healthy and nutritious lunch, taking part in some form of exercise or simply watching your favourite TV show can help alleviate stress and give you a much-needed energy boost for the afternoon ahead.
- Go home
It’s simple, staying late impresses no one. If you’ve done what you need to do, and you plan effectively, then you should be able to complete all your tasks within the working day. Go home, relax, see friends and family, and don’t be tempted to check your emails throughout the evening. A good nights sleep will make the next days challenges feel much more achievable.
- Talk to someone
If you feel stress is starting to encroach on your personal life, or vice versa, talk to someone. Speak to your management team and make sure they understand your issues. They should be able to help you with the workload, planning, and tips for getting through stressful periods. A problem shared is a problem halved – and with any luck, the stress will dissipate.
If you don’t get the support you need from your managers, maybe it’s time to start considering other options and get in touch with a recruitment agency that puts its staff first.
If you feel stress is completely overwhelming you, it’s important to also talk with a professional who will help you identify what factors are triggering these feelings. They can also provide you with coping mechanisms to implement in your daily life. Mind has a directory of useful number if you want to get more information.