Is the stress worth it?

Rate the stressfulness of your current / previous non-teaching job held for at least six months aginst your previous / current teaching job held for at least 6 months

  • My non-teaching job was / is at least 3 times more stressful.
  • My non-teaching job was / is at least twice as stressful.
  • My non-teaching job was / is slightly more stressful.
  • My non-teaching job was / is equally stressful.
  • My non-teaching job was / is slightly less stressful.
  • My non-teaching job was / is at most half as stressful.
  • My non-teaching job was / is at most 3 times more stressful.

0 voters

So I’ve been doing my new job as an Economist back in “the West” for around 18 months. I have learned an incredible amount, and I am becoming quite good at it, I think.

What I can’t get over, though, is the stress level that I experience on a daily basis in this job. Don’t get me wrong - I have an awesome boss, good colleagues, and the work I do is (mostly) interesting. But it is an exceptionally high-performance environment - everyone from elected officials at a District and Regional level to businesspeople at large companies make important infrastructure and investment decisions based on our work. And working in a group of highly-trained professionals, I find myself constantly pushing the boundaries of what I am doing (sorry, I realise this sounds a little arrogant - it’s not at all my intention, but after another tough day, I couldn’t be bothered to think of a less pompous way to say it).

Which all got me thinking today about the relatively stress-free work-life I once lived. I would say I find my current job at least three times more stressful than teaching businesspeople in Taiwan. For that stress level, I earn probably 15% more here, all of which gets wiped out in higher taxes, so essentially I am working at a far higher stress level for the same salary. Hmmmmm.

Hence the poll, which I have limited to those who have been in a job for more than six months (both English-teaching and non-teaching jobs). This is because those first few months are stressful in just about any job, and I didn’t want results to be distorted.

One of the reasons I quit my job at the time and moved to Taiwan to take up teaching (and language study) was the stress of the job and my life at the time; I knew I liked teaching, which I had also done, and it was the best move I ever made. I now have a low-stress job, and a low-stress life. :sunglasses:

You should check your poll question wording. The last two don’t make sense with the trend you set in the first few.

I don’t think my previous non-teaching job was any more or less stressful. They both have different kinds of stresses.

You don’t have Jamaica.

You’re quite right. I think when you start typing, the categories auto-complete. Does anyone know how I can change these categories? When I try to edit my post, it doesn’t give me those options.

Is it that one can no longer edit the options after people have started answering the poll?

[quote=“CraigTPE”]You should check your poll question wording. The last two don’t make sense with the trend you set in the first few.

I don’t think my previous non-teaching job was any more or less stressful. They both have different kinds of stresses.[/quote]

I’d have to agree with that.

My job as a military analyst had lots of political stress (which I don’t want to get into, but which was one of the major reasons why I called it quits and came out here), and it was very much a publish or perish environment (although that only applied to certain people as certain other demographic groups got away with talking on the telephone and readin the newspaper all day everyday…but I digress). That said, at least I had daily intellectual stimulation, used my major in my work environment and got a great deal of job satisfaction. Also, if I wasn’t in a people mood, I could stay in my office and work without seeing anyone all day.

Here, my job revolves on seeing people all the time. Little ones even. Intellectual stimulation is non-existent and you have control freak managers and weird parents to deal with. When you have students that “get it” it can be fulfilling, but they’re few and far between. for me, the biggest stress is providing for my family, wanting vacation, but realising that my salary will take a vacation with me… And there’s no room for a day when you feel “off”…

Every environment and every job has its pros and cons. All in all, I prefer being where I am, although I’m not sure if I’ll feel the same way in five years time. It may be better for me to concentrate on adults or to get out of the teaching gig.

surrendor to the void

Teaching kids is not very stressful and generally easy and fun. The one exception to this has been when I’ve worked for shitty companies.

One summer school in England; no materials, course, photocopier, writing materials or whiteboard, kids from 6-17 from different countries; the owner ‘It’s a holiday class! It’s about fun! Just teach them conversation. No, of course you can’t take them out of the classroom; it’s an insurance risk.’

Another was in a half built school with serious issues, with the complete lack of a curriculum being the least of my worries.

Generally I find adult teaching more stressful and less stimulating than teaching kids. You are ‘on show’, whatever is happening in your life and there’s nowhere to go. You have to be able to switch on and off your feelings and ‘present’, for up to six hours a day. Adult English students are not generally people I’d like to hang out with (I don’t have as much interest in 22 year old girls who don’t speak much English as I’m guessing many flobbers have…) so it can also get pretty boring and repetitive, especially if you do a lot of exam prep or business English.

The best job I’ve had? I worked for a few months as a vehicle breakdown call handler. I answered calls from people whose cars had broken down. I figured out where they were using maps and dispatched vans to help them. I like maps. I’m good at maps. I was really good at that job.

I have a non-teaching job coming up, starting in a few weeks. The sweet sweet tears of joy and relief did flow… I’ll let you know whether it’s more stressful. I’m suspecting it won’t be, because there will not be much requirement for me to talk to either students, teachers or EFL admins.

Buttercup is not a people person.

You’re the most charming person I’ve never met.

Why thank you. I do try to be polite and friendly, as I value that in others. It’s a bloody effort, though, as I am naturally moody and selfish.