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Three low-stress options for high-stress careers

It is commonly agreed that the most stressful roles are in teaching, nursing and journalism

Using principles of work-life balance and knowing how to reduce stress within these three environments can mean the difference between a long-term career and a short-lived success.

Most jobs have an element of stress, which can make employees feel panicked. While a certain amount of stress can be a positive thing, too much can cause significant issues for employers.

When we are nearing breaking point, our bodies pump out cortisol and trigger the ‘fight or flight’ response; in turn, this can lead to high blood pressure, panic attacks and general ill health.

The good news, even in the most stressful careers, is that it is not always necessary to ditch your career path in search of a less stressful working environment. Through reworking your current role, you can reverse the signs and symptoms of stress without having to reconsider your entire working future in a different role.


Government figures released last year indicate that 40% of all teachers will leave their position within a year of achieving their qualification. This shows that the leaving rate has tripled over the past six years as a result of the growing pressures within academia and increased workloads. Teachers tend to leave their profession and seek out less demanding roles, leading to a national shortage.

If you are considering shelving your teaching career, there is a potential solution whereby you can maintain your skills and use your qualifications without having to step foot in the classroom. More and more teachers are turning to home tutoring opportunities to keep their career without the associated classroom pressures and administrative burdens.

Skype Tuition is an option letting you conduct your entire career in the comfort of your own home, while becoming TEFL-qualified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) provides opportunities to roam the globe to find a more positive teaching environment.


Over the past few years, the stress level for nursing staff is thought to have risen by almost 50 per cent. Increased hours, lengthy shifts and lower staffing ratios have meant the industry is nearing crisis point; however, there is an alternative solution that enables you to maintain your nursing career without sacrificing yourself to stress.

Experienced nurses can now leave the hectic ward environment, opting instead to become a nursing lecturer. Teaching trainee staff enables you to pass on your knowledge, particularly in a specialist area, and you do not necessarily need a master’s degree to teach provided you have a strong application and willingness to gain further qualifications in post.


Salaried journalist roles are tough to get and even tougher to maintain as a long-term career. Newspapers and magazines are closing down, reducing the availability of roles and increasing competitiveness in the industry; as a result, more and more journalists are vying for fewer jobs.

The good news is that journalism can now be done purely online. By registering with sites such as Upwork and PeoplePerHour, it is possible to carve out a regular and reliable salary and still do the job you love.

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