Workforce personnel stress and burnout is a major barrier to employment.  We can’t serve people well when we are feeling so much pressure.  I have been in this field for over forty-five years and I have never seen so much smoke coming from so many over worked people in our field.  What can we do about this problem?  Here are some things you can do to help beat the workforce blues.

Organize a Celebrate Success Committee at your workplace.  Every day in our programs things happen that are worthy of some form of celebration.  We see job seekers do amazing things to overcome their barriers.  Staff people come up with creative ways to help people become employed.  The Celebrate Success Committee can come up with ideas for ways of recognizing these accomplishments to offset the negative aspects of our work.

Schedule time for yourself!  The workday gets so packed we often don’t have time to think.  As a result we may not be as productive or focused as we need to be.  Your day is probably filled with appointments.  Make sure one of those appointments thinking and strategizing time for yourself and you will be surprised at how much better you work and feel.  Keep your appointment with yourself!

Get involved in a workforce organization that is fighting for funding for our field.  Many excellent organizations are waging the fight for more funding and better laws that govern our work.  Groups like the National Skills Coalition, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, National Association of Workforce Boards, National Youth Employment Coalition and many other groups are your voice in Washington.  You may also have local, state or regional workforce associations that could use your help.  We will all feel less stressed and burnt out if our field gets the funding and the best laws and policies that support our work.

Take care of your mental and physical health.  Organize a lunchtime walking group.  Make sure you take breaks.  Get away from your desk for lunch.  At the end of the day put an entry in a journal about one success you had that day.  Look at the journal at the start of the next workday.  Develop a stress reduction ritual you can do after work that gets rid of work of stress and recharges your energy.

Do you have other ideas for beating workforce development stress and burnout? What are you doing on an individual and organizational basis to make your jobs and workplaces healthier? Send your ideas to us by using the contact section of the website and we will publish some of them in the next issue of the newsletter.