Wellness Series: The Occupational Dimension

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Occupational Wellness is our approach to, and relationship with, our vocation and work-life balance. When we are occupationally healthy, our work aligns with our beliefs and values and supports our wellbeing. It also means we communicate well with colleagues, use our skills and strengths in our work and feel enriched by it.

“Occupational” has a variety of meanings, depending on what work is for you, and applies to not only the traditional job and workplace but other work as well, like fulltime students or those in caregiver or stay-at-home parent roles. Over half of U.S. workers said that work stress affects their home life, while 83% of them said they suffer from work-related stress. As with occupations themselves, vocational stressors vary greatly by person. Ideally, we find work that both fosters our passions and provides financial stability, though many don’t have the privilege to pursue a job that has both – or even one – of the two.

While plenty of individuals are aware of their job’s stressors or that their occupation is not supporting their health, they may not have the option of finding alternative work or leaving their current one. In these situations, finding stress-relievers outside of work is vital. Look for activities and hobbies that help you decompress and take your mind off stress to help maintain a work-life balance and look to those within your support system for when you need external encouragement. Like other wellness dimensions, meditation and exercise are useful practices for coping with occupational frustrations.

If you’re an employer in the position to do so, try encouraging your organization and its leadership to help their employees manage work stressors. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guides and resources on better understanding and supporting your staff members’ stress. They also have specific resources for supporting different groups of employees ranging from parents and caregivers to those new to working or with less experience, hybrid workplaces, frontline workers, information on your rights in the workplace and more.

If you’re a student aiming to find a job on campus, the Student Employment Office has postings available, along with information and ways to help you connect. For university staff and faculty, keep Employee Services in mind for a variety of resources or to answer questions you may have. For recent grads, alumni and those looking for post-education work, CU Careers has openings from all CU campuses that range in experience level.

Additionally, the T. Rowe Price Career and Innovation Center is available to help all UCCS community members including students, staff, faculty, alumni and employers for a wide range of career services. They offer self-guided resources like interview preparation, networking tips and resume guidance alongside hands-on assistance such as career advising, spaces for practicing and conducting interviews and meetings, career fairs and other events and much more.