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Stress Management ~ Job Analysis

A Day in the Life of Stress: Job Analysis

Do you dread facing your working day and the rising pile of paperwork on your desk? If so, it’s time to sit down and really think about what your job requires you to do.

You get to work feeling frazzled, having endured a stressful commute in. A mountain of post has been dumped on your desk. Should you sort it out, even though it’s not really in your job description? Or is it? Do you even have detailed criteria that outline your duties clearly?

Analyse your Work

This type of unsettled work pattern is familiar in many workplaces. Whether you are an office worker, a manager or a nanny, not having a set structure to work within can be very disorientating. Analysing your job is a useful technique to help you get to grips with the reality of what you do.

It is a difficult exercise to complete, but well worth it in the end. There is nothing more frustrating than working hard on a task only to find that your work is being assessed on a different criteria, and the more you are pulled in conflicting directions the more your stress levels will continue to rise.

Learn When to Draw the Line

In the current job market, many tasks may fall on your shoulders without recognition or credit for carrying them out. There is a difference between taking on extra duties and becoming increasingly burdened by a list of requirement that are not reflected in your job description; and when these tasks detract from your main responsibilities they may become a problem.

Identify your Needs

Large companies often have clear-cut job roles, but in smaller companies the lines between various duties can get blurred. Whatever the type or size of the company, analysing your skills will help you to reflect on your job and identify areas where you need extra support or even training. By analysing your priorities you’ll learn to draw the line and enhance your own self and career development.

Analysing your Working Day

When examining your job it is important to remember that you are analysing the job not the person, so try to be as objective as possible.

An overview of the task

    • There are some general points that need to be specified in any job analysis exercise. Collecting information about the duties and tasks required of an employee such as frequency, duration, skill and complexity are some of the issues that might apply.

Look at your environment

    • The environment you work within can have a strong impact on the way you do your job. Encountering temperature extremes, aggressive people or toxic fumes as part of the job are vital to note. Some tasks may even require you to wear protective clothing or have knowledge of specialised equipment.

Prioritise your time

    • Try to identify key responsibilities and priorities. One way to determine this is to make a checklist of the tasks you perform and note whether these are completed daily, weekly, annually or occasionally. This will allow you to see the areas that you need to prioritise and identify any potential weaknesses.

Identify training needs

    • Do you need any training to help you do your job? You may have come across a course that would be beneficial to you and, therefore, your employer. Suggest this to your human resources department.

Know your company

    • Understanding the culture of your workplace is important. Finding out how things are usually done can give a useful insight on the way that business is conducted. If you are new to the organisation, try talking to more senior members of staff to grasp an understanding of these values.

Quantity versus quality

    • Most employers will stretch their staff’s capabilities as far as possible, but there comes a point when this ceases to be efficient. Not having the people and resources to go your job effectively is detrimental to both employer and employee, as it becomes increasingly difficult to do a good job.

Use your job analysis

    • Once you have used these tools, you will have a detailed job analysis. You now have a good idea of problematic areas and of inconsistencies between what you and your boss think your job should entail. These points will undermine you in your role unless you address them now. Take this information to the appropriate person, be that your line manager or the human resources department. Try to clarify any issues that have arisen and ensure that you resolve them in a way that is satisfactory to all concerned.
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