Working in recruitment can be very stressful but following these stress management strategies will help you to manage stress positively at work.
Stress is the state that you experience when you perceive that you cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on you. You feel under pressure, don’t have the physical and mental reserves to cope, and experience a build up of tension that can affect you physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
There are many causes of stress, ranging from a series of minor irritations to major upheavals. In recruitment, this may include:
- a placement not turning up for their first day of work
- having targets that you are finding difficult to achieve
- not being able to find a candidate for a position
- working long and unsocial hours; or
- having to deal with lots of issues which are outside of your control.
To reduce stress and feel better you need to understand the root causes of your stress and take action to address these causes. The stress management tips below will help you manage stress positively on an ongoing basis at work.
1. Set goals, plan and take action
Set and agree goals, understand what you need to do to achieve your goals, and have a realistic plan. Prioritise your plan and re-prioritise when things change. Take action, review progress, amend your plan accordingly, and keep focused on your goals. Break down larger tasks and projects into smaller more manageable chunks.
2. Actively manage your work
Actively manage your work and build in time to step back from the day to day and reflect on your work. Tune into the outside world and keep on top of changes affecting your work. Know what is happening in your company by monitoring key performance indicators, regular communication, feedback and meetings with staff, colleagues and key stakeholders, and listening to customer feedback. Build good relationships with all stakeholders and ensure you have agreements in place for all business relationships, as well as insurance for the key risk areas.
3. Manage your time
Adopt time management strategies that work for you, get organised, delegate or outsource work, minimise distractions, stop procrastinating and improve your productivity and efficiency.
4. Accept things that are outside of your control
Accept that you cannot change the past, that change is part of life, reschedule as a result of change, adapt accordingly, and accept that unexpected events and bad days happen. Understand what is within and outside your control and stay focused on things that you can control. Acknowledge that you always have a choice.
5. Change the way you think
Understand what is really important to you, remind yourself of the bigger picture and focus on what matters. Consider your thinking and, where it is unhelpful, look at changing the way you think. Be positive, keep things in perspective and take control of worrying.
6. Change your approach
Take responsibility for your actions, be assertive, set boundaries, and be prepared to say no. Focus and celebrate what has gone well, value what you have and what you have achieved. Look at what has not got well as learning and change things accordingly. Consider the best and worst that could happen and accept that issues have arisen and find satisfactory resolutions. Be decisive, don’t panic, draw on your resources and trust your knowledge, experience and intuition. Calm down, think about how you have overcome similar situations in the past and move into a different space to think things through. Be realistic and control perfectionism.
7. Ask for help and support
Build a support network of trusted contacts and ask for support from someone in your organisation or from a third party.
8. Don’t forget there is life outside of work
Take regular breaks during the day, take holidays, keep your working hours under control, eat healthily, exercise more and improve your lifestyle. Build leisure time into your day and get balance into your life. Stress is not necessarily bad or dangerous. If you can manage stress in a positive way you can keep on top of things and you will see stress as invigorating and challenging rather than something to fear.