It’s important for job seekers to be aware of what they’re walking into when they apply for a job. Stress is a major contributing factor to all types of employment. And while stress is expected — and even healthy at times — there are some common job stressors that should be avoided.
A 2015 study from Wrike found that “missing information” is the top stressor at work, with 52 percent of people reporting this as an issue. It’s hard to succeed in your role when you don’t know what is expected of you, how to complete a task, or who to reach out to for help.
To avoid unnecessary stress, here’s what you need to be aware of during your job search:
When employees are recognized for successes, they feel more confident and engaged in their work. So if a company fails to show their employees appreciation, it may be best to look elsewhere.
A 2016 survey on workplace stress we conducted here at HealthITJobs.com, found that 18 percent of health IT professionals say their managers are clueless about that they do. Ideally, management attends to their staff and takes an interest in each employee’s role and their function in the company.
Research a company’s online presence. Are they publicly applauding their team members? Do they post fun videos of parties or celebrations? Sometimes recognition is as simple as a personal thank you note. It’s important to research and look for a company that shows respect for their staff.
If you notice red flags, like a lack of online presence or negative employer reviews, consider moving on to another company or reaching out to inquire about how they would describe their relationship with employees.
Job descriptions are the first impression of how a company communicates. Are they using generic, vague terms or are they specifically defining the ideal employee? Are expectations clear? Can you understand if you qualify after reading it?
You want an employer who communicates well, and that falls on leadership. The 2015 Wrike study found that 44 percent of workers say unclear leadership and unclear task accountability are among the top stressors, with 24 percent saying their roles on a project are unclear.
If they don’t effectively communicate expectations and define your role, you’ll be left with a lack of direction and vague delegation.
Nobody likes to worry about losing their job every day. The best way to avoid this is to not apply to companies with high turnover. If you see a company posting jobs on a regular basis, they may be a revolving door. Also, smaller companies may be more of a risk since building a business comes with a lot of uncertainty.
Look for companies that practice transparency. They will be open about any sort of changes to put rumors and concerns to rest.
For example, if a series of layoffs occurs and a department becomes dissolved, a strong leader will announce the change and offer an open door to employees who feel concerned.
Lack of Feedback
If a company has a reputation for bad communication, chances are they don’t provide good feedback or they provide it too infrequently. You want feedback to improve your performance and exceed expectations.
You can’t address issues if your bosses are silently resenting you. You can’t solve problems you’re unaware of. Employees who feel out of the loop are stressed.
During your search, you can look for how they provide feedback by following up on your application. If they don’t give you much input or discuss your application, they may not provide good feedback to their staff.
You need to research the industry you’re entering. Look for data on income potential, career advancement options, benefits, and other important employment aspects that will affect your choice.
For example, the healthcare IT industry is booming. The 2016 Health IT Job Perk Report from HIT found that 89 percent of respondents would recommend the field to a younger person.
This is despite the high stress that is prevalent in the industry. The 2016 HIT stress survey found more than half of respondents (55 percent) are at least frequently or constantly stressed, with 45 percent citing stress as chronic, and very few reporting a low level of stress.
So the question of job stressors comes down to what you are willing to tolerate. Perform research on your industry and decide whether or not your passion will outweigh the amount of stress that comes with the responsibilities
Do your research, know your value, and be aware of these red flags. You don’t want to waste time and experience an enormous amount of stress over a job or company that you don’t mesh well with.
What job stressors are you considering during your job hunt?