Stress is the bane of modern civilization. Today, stress is no longer just a ‘fight or flight’ response to danger. It continues to unfold even long after the danger has passed. One of the most common stressors is job-related. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you they have the most stressful job in the world. But in reality, not all jobs are stressful.
Roundup of the Most Stressful Jobs in 2016
Job search site CareerCast conducted a study to determine the most stressful jobs and evaluated the results based on a number of factors including salary earned, travel required, deadlines, hazards, risk-to-life, customer interaction and job growth among others. The jobs that made it to the top of the list were inevitably the ones that endangered human lives and took a psychological toll. Here are the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world.
10. Taxi driver
Its hard to imagine that the life of a taxi driver can be stressful. The job usually requires little training, the earnings are modest and the work hours are comfortable. There is always the problem of dealing with grumpy clients and rush hour traffic but nothing that would push the stress levels up high.
However, taxi drivers face one peculiar problem. According to a 2013 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, taxi drivers face the highest murder rate of any profession, their murder rate being twice as that as police officers. They face the danger of never knowing who’s getting in their cab so have to be constantly vigilant and expect trouble at any time. It is this lack of safety that makes the job of a taxi driver stressful at all times.
9. Newspaper reporter
One of the worst jobs you could ever do in your life is report for a newspaper. The pay is poor, job security is zilch and you constantly work under deadlines. Since in this line of work a story can break at any time you need to be prepared 24×7. Today reporters don’t just have to write a great story, they have to tweet, create videos, do blog posts, and promote it all on social networks as well.
In this Internet age it is hard for newspapers to survive and reporters constantly live with a Damocles sword hanging over their head never knowing when they will lose their job. Those who do have jobs often find themselves handling more workload because of layoffs. Reporting in dangerous areas such as war zones have put the lives of many reporters in danger. It is no wonder then that CareerCast has placed this job in the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world.
A career in broadcasting is awesome. There’s glamour, fame, opportunity to travel and meet celebrities, make piles of money and become a celebrity in your own right. Although broadcasting can be creative and fulfilling, the work can be stressful with multitasking, tight schedules and deadlines being the norm for these professionals. Since events happen in real time and are unpredictable, broadcasters must maintain their composure at all times in the eye of constant public scrutiny. The risk of failing publicly adds further mental stress and the fact that the potential for growth in career and pay are limited, working as a broadcaster can be just as exhausting and stressful.
7. Senior corporate executive
High level of competition, economic uncertainties, tight budgets, downsizing, brutal work schedules and insane work hours makes the life of a senior corporate executive highly stressful. The intense demands of the job often results in indulging in unhealthy lifestyle habits and loss of sleep, which eventually takes a toll on the health and personal relationships. This in turn results in irrational decision making and poor business performances causing further anxiety and chronic stress. Senior corporate executives may be seated right at the top, but they don’t have the most comfortable seat.
6. Public relations executive
A PR person is responsible for managing the reputation of companies in the eyes of the public. That’s a lot of pressure. After all, their every move is played out live in front of the world and making even one small mistake can blow up in their faces and become a high profile issue. Since PR personnel speak on behalf of their clients it is extremely crucial that they speak in one voice as their clients. With the emergence of social media and mobile technology, it seems PR guys are online 24×7, multitasking and handling all their clients simultaneously. That’s tough. And should something go wrong, it’s the PR guys who usually end up taking the rap. At the end of the day, PR executives are simply firefighters of a different kind.
5. Event coordinator
It’s a little hard to imagine that the job of an event coordinator would make it to this list. After all, isn’t event co-ordination all about attending parties, getting items ticked off a checklist, picking out the linen and china (in some cases) and helping to create beautiful memories in the lives of people? There is no danger or risk to life nor are they responsible for the lives of others. Yet, it can be one of the most taxing jobs in the world according to CareerCast.
That’s because event coordinators have to work long hours and at odd times ( even weekends are off) and are under extremely great pressure to make sure everything goes off without a hitch on the big day. Event coordinators are said to walk the equivalent of 20 miles with a pretty smile on their faces on the big day because they are thorough professionals. No client and no day is ever going to be the same and no matter how well laid the plans, things can go wrong and they will. At the end of the day, the travel, working tight deadlines and coordinating with different groups of people just takes its toll.
4. Police Officer
Becoming a police officer has its perks. Great pay, good retirement benefits, opportunity to drive cool cop cars, and other more altruistic reasons such as protecting the community and knowing you make a difference to the society are just some of the reasons why people love to become cops. But working in shifts, threat to their lives, constant exposure to distressful situations and the struggle to stay composed in the most trying and dangerous of situations, contributes to physical disorders and emotional problems among the force.
Recent incidents of public brutalization and shootings has only increased the distrust between the public and the police resulting in higher incidents of attacks against the police. Its hardly surprising then that this job makes it to the list of the most stressful jobs.
3. Airline Pilot
Becoming an airline pilot is probably one of the coolest jobs in the world. Flying off to exotic destinations, good pay, an opportunity to travel the world and experience different cultures are just some of the wonderful things about being a pilot. The downside is that pilots work at irregular hours, don’t spend enough time with family, have to deal with delays, logistical challenges, jet lag, harsh weather conditions, terror threats, and the huge responsibility of delivering people safely to their homes everyday.
These stressful situations are compounded in the case of pilots working for low cost airlines. Rising incidents of plane crashes like the Germanwings flight that crashed into the French Alps are attributed to the mental stress that pilots go through constantly in their career, making it the third most stressful job in the world.
Its easy to see why children grow up wanting to be firefighters. Firefighters are super heroes who can jump into a dangerous situations, rescue people and make everything okay. However, the life of a firefighter is not easy. Working 24 hour shifts, chronically deprived of proper sleep, and risk to life and limb lead to physical, mental, and emotional traumas. Its not surprising then that a number of firefighters suffer heart attacks, commit suicides, develop addictive behaviors, and face high divorce rates. Firefighting rightfully deserves its place as the second most stressful job in the world.
1. Enlisted Military Personnel
Military jobs are attractive for a number of reasons. There is the ultimate honor of serving the country, but it is also a family tradition for many, with plenty of great benefits to be had such as affordable a comfortable lifestyle. Despite the thrill and honor that the job excites, the harsh physical conditions and dangers of military life and long absences from families takes a physical and mental toll even on the best of them. Hundreds of military personnel die every year while serving their country and those involved in wars often return with a myriad of mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. In In 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs released data that 22 veterans were killing themselves every day. Under such harsh conditions, it is no wonder then that working in the armed forces is the most stressful jobs you can take on in your life.