published Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Beat stress by taking charge of your career

Whether it's low pay, a heavy workload, fear of being laid off or simply that annoying co-worker in the cube next to you, there's a variety of reasons why you might feel stressed at work. If you think of yourself as someone who's consistently stressed at work, it's important to know that you're not alone, and there are things you can do reduce the stress of your job.

Workplace stress is common in America, as a recent survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College found that 73 percent of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work.

While reasons for workplace stress vary, the most important thing you can do is take control of your career, says John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College. Swartz offers the following tips for taking control of your career:

Stay on top of current trends in your field: One of the best ways to improve your situation at work is to give yourself room to grow by becoming an expert in your field.

Learn practical skills: Don't wait to be asked by your boss to learn something now. Seek out ways you can increase your value within your company.

If necessary, increase your level of education.:If you're having trouble getting the job you want because you don't have the required amount of education, it's time to think about going back to school.

Choose a career in a field where growth is projected: If you are exploring going back to school, it makes sense to first take a look at the job prospects in the fields you are considering.

The best way to avoid workplace stress is to put yourself in a position to get the types of job that you know you'll enjoy.

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