One Really Important Thing Most People Forget To Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer

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Photo: Sugar pond via Flickr

When you sat down and chose your career, what factors went into the decision? For some of us, the idea that a certain job sounded cool was as far as the thought process went.  Others are putting their daily 9-5 in a job that came to them by a chance twist of fate.  

But the really thoughtful amongst the population actually sat down and put an answer to certain questions like: How much money can I earn in this job compared to another? How much schooling is required?  Do I have an interest in this field?  Can I perform the work?  What are the working conditions?

The list of questions goes on, but did you, or if you are in the process of making such a decision, are you considering the stress factor of any particular job?  If not, then you really should.  Stress is the underlying cause of 90% of illness and really decreases the quality of life. 

Do you want to go to bed stressed out knowing tomorrow is another work day?  You will spend a significant portion of your time on the job, so whatever your chosen career, think about how the stresses of the daily grind will affect you. 

Of course, stress is not the only consideration.  All jobs, to one degree or another, will stress you out from time to time, but if you choose wisely, you can minimize the effects.

For example, surgeons enjoy one of the most stressful careers there are. They have to make life and death decisions multiple times a day and have almost no room for error in the course of performing their job. Schooling is long, requiring an additional four to eight years of schooling after graduating from a traditional four year university. 

There are payoffs that make this stress worthwhile. The choices are stressful, but the rewards of helping someone attain a new lease on life are priceless.  Well, almost. In addition to feeling great about helping others, surgeons earn an average salary of $302, 072 annually. With that kind of money, you could put up with a lot of stress and afford a relaxing massage to soothe it all away on a daily basis.

Contrast the high stress, high reward job of a surgeon to that of a firefighter or a police officer.  The hours are long. The working conditions are difficult at best. There are still life and death decisions being made with split second timing, but the compensation monetarily is not nearly as great.  The average salary for a protector of the peace is $49,953, while firefighters earn only $41,184 a year.

Of course, there are perks which make the lower salary worthwhile. Sliding down that pole as a means to entering your vehicle is awesome, the benefits are outstanding, and public servants in general feel they are able to really make a difference for the good.

If you are thinking you’d rather have a low stress job, no matter the perks, then you should consider a career in Web development. The work might be challenging, but you generally are able to work independently and really let your imagination take over.  Other low stress jobs in the computer field include: computer software engineer and technical writer.

Not one of those techy types?  How would the title of Biomedical Engineer suit you? It sounds impressive, but is a very low stress job.  Much of your time is spent waiting on your cultures to grow, so you have ample down-time.

For more details on the low stress jobs, like wages and schooling times, click the graphic to the left. If you want to learn more about the higher stress positions and what kind of pay-offs they offer, like fewer years in college or high salaries, click the graphic on the left.

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