OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals, identifies five common causes of workplace stress and tips for coping with them:
1. There aren't enough hours in the day! You may feel overwhelmed because your duties have expanded beyond a reasonable level. Have an honest conversation with your manager about your workload, and don't be afraid to ask for assistance. He or she can help set priorities, delegate projects or bring in interim assistance.
2. I'm in over my head. Youve been given more advanced responsibilities and received limited instruction or oversight. Request training opportunities, and seek mentors who can help you learn the ropes. If youre managing others for the first time, be sure to delegate; often new supervisors are reluctant to do so.
3. I'm lucky just to have a job and scared to lose it. Like many professionals, youre worried your position, too, could be eliminated. Dont jump to conclusions. Discuss with your supervisor your role in the department and whether the companys goals have shifted. Make yourself indispensable by focusing your efforts on the most critical projects that help your firm boost its bottom line, and show your initiative and expertise by volunteering for new assignments.
4. Politics are rampant in my office. In an uncertain economy, many professionals feel it's necessary to do whatever it takes to stand out from their colleagues. As a result, some may resort to sabotaging the efforts of others or stealing the limelight from their more deserving team members. Rather than fixating on the actions of others, focus on doing the best work possible and maintaining your integrity. Make sure all your contributions are visible by speaking up in meetings and providing your manager with regular status reports. If problems persist, a discussion reinforcing the importance of collaborating on team goals may be necessary.
5. My manager is driving me crazy. Your boss is a micromanager who closely monitors your every move. Determine if youve done anything to undermine his or her confidence. If youve given your supervisor any reason to doubt your abilities or dedication, make changes to improve the relationship. For example, offering frequent project updates may provide the reassurance your boss needs.