How to Harness Workplace Stress and Use It to Advance You Forward

Stress is inevitable—and some studies indicate that an optimal level of stress is necessary for humans to produce their best work and feel what they do is meaningful. While you can’t always avoid stress at work, you can use it to expand your skills and advance your career. Here’s how.

Choose your anxieties.

Typically, professionals develop work skills in one of two ways. Either they take on tasks that fit inside their current skill set, or they seek out challenges that are just beyond their reach and grow into them.

The second approach causes some anxiety. But it also leads to faster skill development. To grow faster, reach outside your comfort zone; however, to avoid overwhelming yourself, reach only slightly outside at first.

Schedule and guard your “unwinding” time.

Time you spend each day “doing nothing” isn’t time spent doing nothing. It’s time spent processing everything else you’ve done that day and recharging so you can tackle the next line of work with a clear head and a fresh perspective.

Schedule your time to relax each day, and defend it. Rather than slipping into the habit of thinking of it as “free time” you can fill with other tasks, think of it as time in which you’ve already scheduled a task: unwinding.

Focus on positive relationship building.

Studies indicate that when we’re surrounded by supportive, trustworthy people during times of stress, our bodies respond by secreting anti-inflammatory hormones that may have a protective effect on the body against the negative impacts of stress.

To use your stress productively, focus on building these supportive relationships. Reach out to friends or colleagues you haven’t talked to in a while, spend time with loved ones or use this time to reconnect with your recruiter. Whether you’re currently looking for a new job, taking a few minutes to catch up with your staffing firm can lead to news, information or advice that might help you move forward.

Considering your next career move in Edina or Minneapolis? Talk to the recruiters at THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC. We can help connect you with some of the best employers and job opportunities in Edina and beyond.

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