There are those people though, that despite the high pressures involved due to either lots of travel, deadlines, time away from family or the risk of losing one's life, they still choose careers knowing full well what they are getting themselves into. I have complied my list based on various stress factors but I do believe that pretty much every job comes with stress and pressure in some degree.
1. Police Officer
Not knowing what you are going to come across each shift certainly adds to the variety of this job, but dealing with loss of life whether it's a murder or car accident can be challenging. Telling a family their loved one is dead is not something that anyone would particularly enjoy. Not to mention the high risk of losing their own life while on the job.
The majority of the time these people get called to a job, it's because someone's life is in danger. Knowing a victim's life is potentially in your hands certainly puts this job high on the list. Some of the sights these workers come across must make sleeping very difficult at times.
Going into a burning fire and dealing with dangers that can be unknown, unstoppable and unforgiving makes this a career with enormous pressure. The very real risk of losing your own life must be daunting and also hard on family members.
4. Airline Pilot
Being responsible for transporting so many lives safely from one destination to another earns this job a spot on the list. Fatigue must be a factor when doing long haul flights across the globe and simply adds to the stress.
5. Heart Surgeon
You must be very focussed and alert in this job and always give 100%. There is no slacking when you literally have somebody's life in your hands. Although there is risk associated with any type of surgery, heart surgery would have to be the riskiest. There is no margin for error on this job!
6. Military Personnel
Again, another job with a very high risk of losing one's life. What could be more stressful? Despite rigorous training, the conditions and circumstances soldiers find themselves in at times adds to the anxiety involved in this career. An accident at work claim here is going to be a lot more than a fall or a trip, that’s for certain.
7. Air Traffic Controller
A clear head is required for this job and multitasking skills are a must! Coordinating and directing numerous aircraft to land safely requires the utmost concentration. One slip up in this role could result in hundreds of deaths. Stressful or what!
Long hours on your feet, constant demands and low pay are not attractive parts of this job. Neither is dealing with rude and ungrateful customers. Being in the public eye can make it difficult to put a smile on your face when that's the last thing you feel like doing.
All the years of training it requires to become a doctor, then all the years it takes to pay back your student loan combined with the fact that once you start practising you are expected to know what is wrong with everyone that you see that comes to see you and correctly diagnose then prescribe the correct medicine (and keep up to date with the latest medicines) all makes for a seriously amount of stress!
This job cannot be left off the list. In fact considered by some as the hardest job in the world! No instruction book, no time off and never-ending. The job of a parent, while rewarding for sure, can be worrisome in all sorts of shapes and forms and definitely earns a place on this list.
So maybe the next time you are having a really bad day, you could spare a thought for some of these people and what they are going through on their bad day, and it might just make you feel a little better.
James McCarty writes a wide range of career advice and interesting articles for a number of UK clients.