Millennials: How to Cope with Stress While Building Job Stability

The ability to prove the longevity of your tenure at a company is a deciding factor for hiring managers when you choose to pursue a new job in your career. Millennials have a (growing) reputation of being “job-hoppers” and are floating among others in the workforce who not only have to substantiate their value and worth, but their loyalty to an employer.

Work is indicated as one of the top factors of stress upon graduating from college for Millennials, with 48 percent of college grads working in jobs that do not require a college degree and 38 percent that are working in jobs that do not require a high school diploma. Many of these jobs are minimum wage jobs that do not quite equate to a “living wage” for a twenty something individual with accruing interest rates on student loans, bills, bills, bills, and an obsessive fetish for the latest smart phone.

Is it worth it? Many may argue that they have no choice but to work at a job that is unrelated to their degree until the right opportunity arises. The amount of work expected at a minimum wage paying job is sometimes hardly reasonable and often comes with prices to pay that can affect your health (i.e. no breaks, long work hours, dangerous work conditions, etc.)

Instead of quitting, you think about your resume. What employer wants to see a six, nine, or 12 month gap in your work history for a newbie fresh out of college? Nada. Regardless of your internships or college activities in the past, they want to see what skills you are developing now.

If you have been keeping busy in a less-than-perfect gig and have been holding on to preserve the reputation of your ride-or-die commitment to an employer, consider these tips to help you alleviate stress and keep your eyes on the prize:

1. Have an activity outside of work to look forward to – First and foremost, get a life. Don’t become complacent with just working. If you are working in a position that is not conducive to the career you desire, find activities that will continue to help you build your skills in a format that makes learning enjoyable for you. If you have something you look forward to, you can decrease your stress levels significantly.

2. Leave your work woes at work – What happens at work stays at work. When you bring workplace issues home, it violates your right to relax. Find ways to meditate and wind down when you come home, whether it’s taking a hot bath, reading a book, or listening to music. After all, your job is not paying you overtime to think about it outside of work hours.

3. Exercise – Exercising is an excellent way to burn off stress and help create a consistency for catering to your health. When you incorporate exercise in your routine before or after work, it can help clear your mind and help you build an appetite. If you are job searching in your field while working, exercising prior to an interview is another way to get your adrenaline pumping and calm any nerves that you make encounter before sitting down with a prospective employer.

If you are a Gen Y who has defied the statistic of being a job hopper and is committed to making a work situation “work” for you in a job so far removed from your dreams, kudos for gaining employment in such a tough and demanding job market. Be mindful of the ways that work can kill your vibe and make feeling healthy a little challenging.

One more thing – never stop trying. There’s a job in your field with your name on it! Just don’t let stress take you out before you find it.

Whitney L. Barkley is a non-stop workaholic. Between the working ages of 15 to ______ (Did you really think she would disclaim her age? So naïve of you!) she has learned how to cope with stress on different levels of working – from freelancing to mid-level employment. After work, you can find her curled up with a bottle of water, a lap-top, and #Scandal reruns on Netflix. Tweet with her: @TheWriteGirl_

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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