As a target-driven industry, 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.
April is International Stress Awareness Month, and this year we want to highlight that stress should NOT be the norm in our industry, or any! 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 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 our tips on Alleviating Stress at Work
Or you can read the tips in full below…
- Plan Ahead
Good planning is the key to success in several areas of live - work is no different! Write up your to-do list for the next day each evening before you leave the office. This will clear your head and help you wind down at the end of the day, as well as alleviate stress by making you aware of what you've got coming up. Make your plans flexible, allowing time for rescheduling and additional tasks - too tight a schedule might end up increasing your stress levels.
- Block Activity and Rewards
A really motivational way to plan your day is by blocking activities with rewards. For example, "when I complete this task, i'll reward myself with a coffee and chat with my colleagues". Also, make sure to schedule in short breaks to your day, which will avoid exhaustion.
- Take a lunch break
Always make the most of your lunch hour! Get out of the office and get some fresh air, do something that isn't work related. Your lunch hour is the perfect time to take part in some exercise, or even just to watch your favourite TV show - both of which can help alleviate stress and give you an energy boost to get you through the afternoon.
- Go home
If you plan effectively, there should be no need to stay late after work. You should plan so you are able to complete all your tasks during the working day. Go home, relax, see friends and family and try not to check your emails during your down time! A good nights sleep and relaxing evening will make the next day at work feel much more achievable.
- Talk to someone
If you feel that stress is starting to encroach on your personal life, talk to someone. Make sure your management team understands your issues and they should be able to help you manage your workload and give you tips for dealing with stressful times. A problem shared is a problem halved - and with any luck, the stress will dissipate.
If you don't feel that your managers are offering the support you need, it might be time to consider other options and get in touch with a recruitment agency that puts its staff first.
If stress is completely overwhelming you, talk to a professional who will help you identify what is triggering these feelings. They can provide coping mechanisms to implement in your day-to-day life.
If you would like more information, Mind has a directory of useful numbers.
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