Wednesday, August 1, 2007

ZOMG! Stress != Good?!

That's what some researchers in the UK think!

Almost all men are over-anxious. No sooner do they enter the world than they lose that taste for natural and simple pleasures so remarkable in early life. Every hour do they ask themselves what progress they have made in the pursuit of wealth or honor; and on they go as their fathers went before them, till, weary and sick at heart, they look back with a sigh of regret to the golden time of their childhood.

The super-Einsteins behind the study determined, all on their own, that 45% of new cases of depression and anxiety were attributable to stressful work. They defined a highly demanding job as involving a lack of control, long hours, non-negotiable deadlines, and a high volume of work... which is to say every white collar job out there, pretty much.

Now, I had a conversation about this last night, with a friend of mine (over several vodka-based drinks). He owns his own business now, he sets his own hours, and he makes all the profit. Now, I consider his job just fantastically easy compared to mine... I design the buildings, and he cleans them. We discussed stress of jobs, and pay's effect on stress. Years ago, I worked a CAD job, but it was so MIND-NUMBINGLY DULL that I decided to quit. I then got a really busy, high-stress job, and I loved it for two and a half years, but now it's really, really grinding me down, despite my much improved pay. Had I been given THIS pay amount, with the BORING job, I wouldn't have quit, whereas I would need a LOT more money now to ease the stress and keep me doing this.

Stress and depression is not so much a byproduct of work, so much as stress is a by-product of improperly-rewarded work. But that's just my opinion, and I'll bet there's about 9,000 CEOs who disagree with me (and 9,000,000 workers who agree whole-heartedly).

Ok, back to work...

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