Your Life -- Take it Back
Anita Sharpe on Business
Nearly every poll these days shows essentially the same thing: tens of millions of Americans are stressed out and unhappy at work; white collar workers, in particular, are literally feeling the pain.
Links between job stress and severe illnesses such as cancer are mounting. 'If you're 50 years old and you hate your job, you're going to be stressed; that probably translates into immune changes,' Dr. Ronald Glaser, a viral immunologist at Ohio State University, told the New York Times in a page-one story today.
Lack of control is cited over and over as the biggest culprit in job stress. (I'm writing this on a beautiful Sunday afternoon because I choose to and I'm not the least bit stressed; if someone had interrupted my Sunday lunch and demanded I write this immediately, it would likely be a different story.)
So how can people gain more control at work? One answer is to just take it -- easier to get forgiveness than permission. I love what Tom Peters wrote several years ago in The Brand You 50:
' Babbitt is dead. Babbittry is dead. The Organization Man is heaving his Last Gasps.
'It is O-V-E-R! New World (Economic) Order: We -- white collar 'we' -- are own our own. Our lives are more precarious. But they've been given back to us. The challenge: What are we going to make of them?'