Work Stress – At what point would you quit?
As much as I hate to drag the mood down on a Friday, I’ve been reading a couple of stories about work place stress this morning that really saddened me. Both stories involved a rise in workers committing suicide due to work related stress. One story on CNN focused on a recently highlighted rise in work stress related suicides within the banking industry and the other looked at an investigation being undertaken by French mobile telecoms giant Orange after they noticed a sharp rise in stress related workplace suicides.
As I was reading these articles I did start to wonder just what could cause a person to make such a sad decision, rather than quitting their job?
What has caused this increased stress?
The orange article wasn’t just focusing on an isolated problem within one individual company but more on the increased stress being felt by the global workforce as a whole. As I’ve been self-employed for quite a long time now, increased stress in the workplace environment isn’t really something I’m familiar with, so I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of what kind of pressures would cause a person to resort to such sad measures. Perhaps company cutbacks during the recession have heaped a greater workload onto the remaining workforce, a workload they are simply unable to cope with? Is the fast moving and changing nature of our modern world simply proving too much for some people to cope with? Whatever it is, the fact that companies are noticing the increase and investigating it – or are being pressured to investigate it – shows that the problem is real and pressing. What about you, have you noticed the stress levels increasing in your own work environment?
At what point would you quit your job?
What I again find really difficult to understand about these sad events is that people would decide to take their own life rather than to quit their job. I’m no psychologist and I am in no way equipped to understand the complex mental issues that would lead someone to such a decision, so again I can only assume. Perhaps the lack of jobs in the current economy made the person feel that they simply had no option but to stay in a job they hated so much that it was breaking them mentally. Or maybe they were too afraid to voice their feelings because they were scared of being viewed as an employee with a lack of appreciation or work ethic, leading to them becoming overwhelmed by the situation.
Whatever the reasons are, it does raise an extremely important question for anyone who is truly struggling with work stress. At what point would you make the tough decision to quit your job to avoid becoming overwhelmed? There is so much pressure put on people today to behave as though they are invincible, as though they can cope with anything. The sad reality is that we simply cannot cope with anything, we all have our limits and admitting them should be considered as a sign of strength, not as a sign of weakness by both ourselves and others. Even if you don’t rush out and quit your job, perhaps just finding the strength to talk about your problems either with your employer or with a qualified professional could be a great help in reducing your stress, it could even turn out to be a life saver.
There is always a better way
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself become so overwhelmed by work stress that you start to think that taking your own life is the only way out. If you start to have these thoughts or feelings then it is vital that you take some kind of action to relieve the stress, be it by learning how to cope with the stress, taking a short break, or perhaps changing your job completely if necessary. I know it may seem daunting to have to take these measures but it is surely better than the alternative.