Back To Career News

Stressed at Work? Stop Trying to Be So Darned Perfect


Some jobs are stressful by nature. If you’re a nurse or a doctor or an air traffic controller, you have a high-stress profession, and the only thing to do is brush up on those stress management techniques and hope for the best. If you’re like the majority of us, on the other hand, the problem might not be your job. The problem might be you.

In an article in Psychology Today, Fredric Neuman, M.D. examines the phenomenon of people who feel stressed in any job they have, even when their colleagues seem calm and collected. According to Dr. Neuman, this is usually for one of two reasons:

1. They’re afraid to make a mistake.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

2. They’re afraid of getting in trouble.

As a result …”some people go from job to job trying to find the least stressful,” Neuman writes. “Unfortunately, those jobs are likely also to be the least challenging and the least rewarding. And the stress these people feel is likely, anyway, to depend on them and not on the circumstances of a particular job.”

The problem is, of course, that everyone makes mistakes — even when lives or millions of dollars are at stake. The solution is try to become more comfortable with the fact that none of us are perfect, and to value ourselves for what we do well.

Also, it never hurts to practice a few deep breathing and visualization exercises.

More From PayScale

What Causes Workplace Stress — And What You Can Do About It [infographic]

Should All Employees Get Election Day Off?

How to Get Better Parental Leave


(Photo Credit: sundazed/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.