Handling workplace stress is the secret key to your career success. Your people skills are important. Your technical skills do matter. Even your ability to tolerate your boss can help you advance. But what can make you really stand out from the crowd is how you operate under stress. The reason for this is that those other skills are trainable. People skills can be acquired through workshops and seminars. Technical skills can be learned at on-site or off-site classes. And your boss will keep firing people until he or she finds the one who is most tolerant. But handling stress well is rare, because so many people do it poorly or superficially.
Workplace stress attacks you mercilessly. It attacks in every situation, all the time, with no let up. The bad health effects of stress weaken your ability to fight it, magnifying how bad the stress really is. But treating it like an “occupational hazard” forces you to submit to it, rather than rising above it. By allowing stress to control you, instead of you controlling it, your real abilities and skills will be forever hidden.
Here are 5 ways to use workplace stress to improve your personal effectiveness at work:
1. Aggressively plan your time, so that you have gaps in which to think. Realizing that you are under stress and pressure can motivate you to not only plan your day, but to plan those periods when you can strate3gize how to attack the stress.
2. Focus your energy on the skills you need to compete with younger or newer co-workers. Avoid the hazard of spending so much energy on fighting stress unproductively that you have nothing left over.
3. Budget your time and money so that you can socialize and develop teamwork and a support network. Having people to support you can actually minimize or reverse some of the bad health effects of stress.
4. See how stress affects your personal appearance, including sleep problems. How you react to stress is a great messenger to you of areas you can improve on. If you notice your personal appearance slipping, or that you are having bags under your eyes form lack of sleep, this is your body’s or mind’s message to you of where to focus your energies to fight stress. In addition, maintaining a look of competence shows management that stress does not fluster you or cause you to become unraveled.
5. Share your conflicts with stress with your co-workers in positive, solution seeing sessions. These sessions can bring your co-workers to view you as their effective leader, whether or not you are the one with all the ideas. Simply being the one to get the ball rolling, especially under stress, is one mark of a true leader. Remember – if you are feeling the stress, they are feeling the stress.
Merely managing stress or simply reacting to it is ultimately defeating. This is because stress has no mechanism to stop itself. And too many stress management systems are one-dimensional and therefore not equipped to fight stress in all its multitudinous forms. The result is complacency and passivity in the face of stress. This is certainly not what anyone is looking for in a potential leader.
Stress that attacks in multiple forms requires a flexible but comprehensive stress management system. Your system must be able to fight off stress externally and to strengthen your internal stress fighting systems. It needs to be scalable, since stress will only increase as you advance. If your present method of dealing with stress cannot do this, then changing your stress fighting system is next on your agenda.

Author's Bio: 

For more information on attacking and transforming stress, please get our 3 exclusive reports (The TRUTH; The REMEDY; The OVERVIEW) by joining the STRESS JUDO COACHING community. STRESS JUDO COACHING was created by Rick Carter, based on dealing with stress during 15+ years as a trial attorney and 20+ years in martial arts. You can become a black belt when it comes to fighting stress.