You’re Not a Loser if You Acknowledge Work Stress

Marcus J. Fila, Ph.D.
4 min readJul 14, 2020
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Have you ever searched for a hashtag that seems poignant, relevant, and generalizable to a lot of people, only to find that a remarkably small number of people follow it? Have you also noticed how many people — often multiple exponents more — follow other hashtags which are closely related but more macro than the said poignant hashtag? Here’s an exceptional example of this with work stress as it relates to the broader fields of management and human resources. As of today, #Management on LinkedIn has 36,230,930 followers (that’s second in all the world only to #Innovation, at 37.6 million). #HumanResources has 33.4 million — another hugely popular subject, and understandably so.

#workstress has 73. Not seventy-three million, and even 73,000…., but 73. Globally. A play on words? Let’s try a few more. #stressatwork has 149, #jobstress has 15, whereas #stressfulwork has none. Zero. Have you ever felt career stress? I have, and so did my clients when I was in executive recruitment. That’s mostly why they moved. Well, #careerstress also has zero. #Stress has more, at 13,626, as does #stressmanagement, at 19,982; but that’s stress on a wider scale — stress about potentially anything. Even if that hashtag on LinkedIn implies professional/career/ work stress, that’s still a pretty marginal number given how common work related stress really is.

Sure, there’s more to working life than stress; but here’s the thing. How much of management, and human resources, has nothing to do with the relationship people have with their work, or the organization? And how much does the relationship people have with their work, or the organization have nothing to do with stress of some sort? Awareness and management of work stress as it relates to performance, retention vs turnover, goal setting, and matching the right people to the right positions is undoubtedly fundamental to both Management and Human Resources. And yet, I remain amazed by the disparity between macro hashtags numbers, and what seem to be at least central subjects within them.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

So, why is this happening?

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Marcus J. Fila, Ph.D.

Work Stress speaker, researcher, author, and consultant to organizations and individuals. Psychologist, and management professor. Visit easeworkstress.com.