THE WORK/STRESS CONNECTION: How to Cope with Job Burnout by Robert L. & James L. Spradley Veninga

THE WORK/STRESS CONNECTION: How to Cope with Job Burnout

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There is little in this overview of the interrelationship between work and stress that hasn't appeared somewhere before, but it's nicely put together, with descriptions of different stages in burnout, personal strategies for coping, tactics for change in the organization, and even ways to handle someone else's stress. Many of the prescriptions involve simple attitudinal change; the classic case is the couple who lived three miles from Buffalo Airport, directly in the flight path, where he was driven mad by the noise and she scarcely noticed it. Here and there, though, a trick is more concrete: don't simply notice your body's fight-or-flight response, indulge it with exercise. Cut back on excessive hours (even if this means changing jobs); lower expectations of self; and avoid blind alleys like scapegoating others for your pent-up anxiety. The organizational (as distinct from purely personal) ploys also rely somewhat on attitude--like the need to develop a detached view of the job, or the ability to divide one's work into steps that appear less overwhelming. Veninga (Communications, Univ. of Minnesota) and Spradley (Anthropology, Macalester College) have their own pet areas of research; hence we wind up occasionally with such oddities as a work stress inventory designed specifically for cocktail waitresses. But, on the whole, they have done a serious self-help book on a subject with wide appeal.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1981
Publisher: Little, Brown