Three common sense tips to reduce stress in your career

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2021

This week sees Stress awareness day (Wed) and Common sense day (Thurs)

I think they’re linked.

We’ve all got common sense (although we don’t always use it of course 😊), and we all have things that we find stressful from time to time.

So it makes common sense to have strategies to deal with those things so they are less, or not, stressful.

I think this is particularly important and we go in depth on a number of useful strategies in The Career Base Camp on Summits 2 and 3 of my 5 Summits for Career Success. In fact, thinking about it, all the stuff on Summit 1 where you identify your ideal job/role is really useful too. There's a free overview training here.

The thing is, when you know how to manage your career effectively it puts you back in control and significantly reduces your stress levels. For me its all about going to work with a smile on your face.

There are so many practical, straight forward and frankly, common sense things that you can do to enjoy work more and reduced your stress levels. So I’ve picked out 3 of my favourites from The 5 Summits of Career Success to share with you today.



Stop blaming everyone else! If you get your head around this mindset it can be transformational. In everything we are either At Cause or At Effect.

When we are At Effect, we give the power to make things better away. You’ll hear it in the phrases people say: “You make me so mad”, “they ruined my career by making me redundant”, for example.

The thing is, that when we take those “at effect” attitudes it means that unless that other person changes what they do, or the company changes their decision, nothing changes for us. So, its much better (and less stressful) to take an “At Cause” attitude.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t be upset or angry about something, but when we are At Cause, we recognise that if we don’t like a situation we do have the power to choose how we act and react and how we feel about it going forward.

Then we start getting into some of the other mindsets from Summit 2. Things like “I am in charge of my mind and therefore my choice of action and re-action in any situation”, “I have flexibility of action: if I don’t like the results I’m getting, I do something different”, and so on.

No 2. Ask good questions

The questions you ask yourself make such a difference to how you feel. I’m going to share my all time favourite with you here:

What would I rather have?

This is a wonderful question to carry around with you and ask yourself any time you notice that you are feeling unhappy or discontent in any way. Try to come up with at least three answers and then pick the best and do it. After all, one of the definitions of madness is carrying on doing something that doesn’t work and expecting different results.

No 3. Review your current job regularly

Yes, put aside an hour at least once every two months for a meeting with yourself. Don’t move it for anyone, it’s the most important meeting you’ll have in that time.

Firstly, use it to record any new things that you’ve done: achievements, contributions, skills and qualities. There are three key reasons this is useful:

  1. When you next update your CV
  2. At your next performance appraisal
  3. RIGHT NOW as you use that meeting to check that you are still using the skills/qualities you love using, and identify any you don’t enjoy so much and need to do something about

Secondly, use it to check with how your job is fulfilling your work/career values. Is it still giving you fulfilment and happiness in the ways you want? Is there anything that you need from your career that you are not getting, or are starting to get less of. If you pick them up early its often easier to do something about them.


So, its common sense really, isn’t it? Manage your career proactively and make sure it’s as close to your ideal as possible. Then you can make sure you keep on going to work with a smile on your face.

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