Burnout, stress, and fears about job security have taken over the lives of a good portion of the working populace. According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 36% of employees reported feeling tense or stressed out at work, and almost half (49%) said low pay is impacting their stress level.  Employers recognize that stressed out employees tend to be less productive ones. Thus, more successful companies address the needs of their workforce, and assure a happy, satisfied and productive employee pool. Unfortunately, if your company is not in this category, and if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, the following are some tips to thrive in the workplace, conquer stress, and improve your career options.

1) Identify the source(s) of your stress – what is making you stressed? Is it too much of a workload, long hours, challenging colleagues or supervisors, or low pay? By first identifying the source or sources of your stress, you can then construct a plan of action.

2) Create a stress-free action plan – once you have identified the main reasons for your stress, now is the time to develop a stress-free plan. If it is your workload, then you want to explore how to streamline your job duties or even how to delegate some of them. If it is challenging colleagues, you may wish to talk to your supervisor about how best to handle them. If it is low pay, you might want to explore how to ask for a raise. Despite the troubled economy, employers are loathe to lose great workers, and may be willing to compensate them to stay. A good deal of stress is related to a feeling of powerlessness. Therefore, you want to take control of your situation, to combat the factors causing you stress or tension.

3) Explore career options – if you believe that the conditions at your job cannot be changed for the better, it may be time to explore other job opportunities. Begin to network and feel confident that there will be more suitable jobs for you to thrive and be satisfied.

Stress tends to have a deleterious effect on employee health and success. You deserve to feel a decreased level of stress. Now is the time to address these issues for your long term benefit and growth.