Did you know that April is "Stress Awareness Month?" Don't worry--I didn't either. But, the focus on stress did lead the folks at The Huffington Post to write about the ten most stressful jobs in the U.S.
Job stress was rated on 11 different factors: outlook/growth potential, travel, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitive nature of the job, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards, own life at risk, life of another at risk, and meeting with the public.
Most of the following professions won't surprise you--what may surprise you is the final ranking of which jobs are considered the most stressful.
In descending order:
10. Real Estate Agent. Why the stress? Well, consider the hours and the "always on" criteria for selling real estate.
9. Emergency Medical Technician. Not only do EMTs save lives, but they often put their owns lives at risk as well.
8. Stockbroker. It's a bad economy, and has been for far too long. Need any other reasons?
7. Architect. For all of you architectural students who pull all-nighters on your final project, guess what--it doesn't get any easier out in the real world.
6. Advertising Account Executive. Deadlines? Check. Competitiveness? Check. Lower than average pay? Check.
5. Newscaster. If you live in this world, you're not only in the public eye and under constant deadline pressure, but you also are under constant pressure to deliver ratings.
4. Photojournalist. In harm's way and deadlines--not a good combination. Plus, is there an SD card in the camera? (Let's hope so...)
3. Senior Corporate Executive. Yep, the compensation can be mind-boggling. And, so can the quick fall from grace if numbers and expectations aren't met.
2. Public Relations Officer. This initially struck me as a high rank for this profession until I thought of BP, Southwest and other recent P.R. crises.
1. Commercial Pilot. Lots of travel, not enough rest, aging equipment, physical demands, dealing with the public, and the pressure of keeping hundreds of lives safe on each flight.
What are some notable professions not listed here? How about teachers, particularly those in settings which aren't necessarily conducive to learning. Coaching is yet another--a profession where everyone thinks they are an expert. Of course, in that vein there's also sports officials--the folks who referee games and are chided for their lack of eyesight, objectivity and overall brainpower.
Stress comes in many shapes and forms and I hesitate to suggest that any profession isn't stressful. Yet, I think we'd be hard-pressed to argue that any of the above ten don't deserve special recognition for their stress and difficulty.