Some jobs are intrinsically more stressful than others. Jobs at different levels within the hierarchy of an organization each have their own stress factors. Likely stress levels are an important consideration when deciding if a job is suitable for you.
Table Levels of stress in different job types
Types of JobRelated Causes of Stress
Financial Accountants, stock-market traders, mortgage consultants, bank tellers. In companies where money is the major product, a high level of stress is a permanent feature. The larger the sums involved, the greater the stress on the staff.
Sales-Orientated Sales and marketing managers and consultants, advertising executives.These jobs pressurize workers by continually demanding that they reach targets within certain budgets and deadlines. Sales staff are constantly “on show”.
Technological Computer programmers and technicians, statisticians. Information-technology specialists have to keep abreast of the fastest-changing industry ever. Technicians have to fix hardware and explain complex problems to the uninitiated.
Media Newspaper, magazine, or television journalists, producers, editors.Periods of calm are interspersed with frantic bursts of activity as media workers hunt for new subject material and are then required to be creative to a tight deadline.
Medical Nurses, doctors, anaesthetists, pharmacists, physical therapists.When people’s health and even lives are at stake, there can be enormous pressure to make the right decision quickly. There is great stress in dealing with human distress.
People-BasedPersonnel managers, social workers, counsellors, any managers with a team of staff working under them.These jobs require skills such as tact and discretion that can make it difficult to socialize with colleagues. It may be necessary to implement redundancies, disciplinary procedures, and other decisions that cause people distress.

Stress in management

Frequently managers find themselves in isolated positions. They are often caught between trying to satisfy the needs of their staff on the one hand and fulfilling the wishes of their superiors on the other. They also have to make difficult decisions about the future of their staff. Managers require a number of “people” skills, which may be difficult to define. A feeling that you lack these skills is stressful, as is an inability to delegate, an inability to say “no”, a sense of ambiguity about your supposed role, and too much responsibility.

Demands on a manager

Too many demands and too much responsibility placed on one person can result in high stress levels. Many managers regard stress as a normal part of working life, but without adequate time for relaxation, stress can lead to illness and even death.

  • Reporting to superiors

  • Meeting deadlines

  • Motivating staff

  • Staying within budgets

  • Adapting to change

Stress at other levels

Junior white-collar workers may suffer from the stress of too little responsibility and not enough control over a heavy and tedious workload. An employee on a production line may become ill as a result of unstimulating, repetitive work. Stress among manual labourers can often be caused by the physical demands of their jobs, such as dangerous or high-level work on a building site.

Stresses on a clerical worker

Many clerical jobs are so repetitive and undemanding that the worker receives very little job satisfaction. There is too little responsibility and therefore a lack of potential for creativity. The boredom and lethargy thus induced can be highly stressful and difficult to shake off.

  • Lacking in financial incentives

  • Being uncertain about career prospects

  • Finding little variety in daily tasks

  • Having no control over workload

  • Feeling as though lacks in status


Assess the stress factors of any new job before you accept it.


Gradually increase the number and complexity of tasks you delegate successfully every day.

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