When asked to list the most dangerous jobs, my mind immediately thinks of those that require physical labor: deep-sea fisherman, loggers, miners, and even pilots. Just as the workplace is changing to a more virtual environment, the dangers are changing from physical to mental. The New York Times recently had an article that named blogging as a dangerous profession after three well-known bloggers suffered heart attacks. Well of course this scared me a bit, being a blogger myself, so I decided to do some research.
Stress has been the buzz word for quite a few years now and subsequently is changing the list of “jobs that are most likely to kill you.” While deep sea Alaskan fishermen and lion trainers still rank on top, other unlikely jobs are joining the list because of stress. A Canadian study completed last October showed that there was a definite link between job stress and heart problems, confirming what most knew all along.
So what are the most stressful jobs?
1. IT jobs: Oh yeah, those people that come when the printer is jammed up? How would you like to spend your day showing someone how to load printer paper?
2. Teachers: Make that middle school teachers. Raise your hand if you ever threw a paper airplane while your teacher was writing on the chalkboard.
3. Stockbroker: Their split-second decisions can cost their clients thousands or even millions of dollars. So stop complaining when your boss asks you to make a decision on what the theme for the 3rd quarter celebration should be.
4. Customer service (primarily call centers): Customer service is a tough one in any industry, but call centers can be especially stressful. Something about not seeing someone face to face makes people think that they can scream at customer service reps.
5. Clerical jobs: Studies have shown that those jobs that have low decision-making abilities feel they have less control over their career. Even though higher ranked jobs come with more responsibility and thus stress, the autonomy one feels over their career cancels out some of the stress.
Other jobs surveyed as the top stressful jobs include law enforcement, social services, servers and journalists. Although all of these jobs won’t show up as having the most deaths on the job, they do remain as professions that will kill you due to a stress-induced work environment.
In many of these high-stress professions, it truly does sometimes feel like your boss will kill you if everything isn’t done to perfection. If you find yourself in one of these jobs and the heat is on, take a vacation. Enjoy a long weekend with your family. Stop racing to the finish line with the rest of America, because the only thing waiting there for you is a heart attack.
This is a guest post by Lauren Kleinman.