Job Stress, Resilience and Support

June 30, 2011

Most of us have experienced job stress at times. When you add job stress to the demands of everyday life and the challenges of deciding on a next career step, it can be hard to move forward.

We know how important it is for fellows to seek support for these challenges and yet at the same time how difficult it can be to ask for help. Just think about all the stresses associated with starting a new training program; getting acclimated in a new lab, getting settled in a new location (possibly even a new country), and adding  personal and family concerns. On the other end of your training new challenges will surface as you look to make your career move.

Below are some good resources related to resiliency and dealing with these stresses, giving you tips to cope and move forward toward your goals.  One important common theme in these resources is the mediating effect of support from other people to help us to deal with challenging situations and stress.

So, whatever your situation might be:

  • You have just arrived and are finding that fitting in difficult;
  • You are trying to figure out what to do after your fellowship;
  • You are involved in a difficult job search;
  • You are changing the way you look at how you balance all of the roles you play (student, researcher, parent, partner, friend, caregiver, etc) ;  or
  • You are trying to figure how to deal with a stressful situation in the lab

Remember to reach out for support; to find colleagues who might be going through a similar situation and counselors or OITE staff to help you with your concerns.

References:

Look at the OITE website for more resources at:
http://www.training.nih.gov

The Job Stress LIFE BOAT by John B. Arden, Ph.D.
http://www.permanente.net/homepage/kaiser/pages/f36626.html
Mind Matters: Resilience by Irene S. Levine
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2011_06_10/caredit.a1100051