A new survey commissioned by GFI Software reveals that stress levels amongst those working in the general IT arena are incredibly high and serve as a prompt for many to consider switching employers.

The company’s third annual IT Admin Stress Survey determined that two thirds of IT staff are considering a job-switch as a direct result of the stress their current role presents them with.

The key findings reported were:

  • 67% of all UK IT staff consider their job stressful
  • 36% have missed social occasions due to work pressures
  • 36% have also missed out on family time due to work demands
  • 28% lose sleep due to work concerns
  • 19% have suffered from a stress-related illness
  • 16.5% blame their job for a relationship breakdown

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the finger of blame most often pointed at management with over half of respondents saying that their overseers were the biggest stressors within their working environment. Other factors leading to a stressful working life include lack of funding and staff shortages.

Now IT is obviously a very broad industry but these findings didn’t fit in with how I, as someone who actually works in retail, perceive the information security industry to be. Sure, its not perfect, but I would be hard pressed to remember ever seeing or hearing anyone grumble about their career in any way.

So, I took to Twitter to find out what the general consensus of opinion was amongst those working in infosec, an area that is equally well known for having a lack of qualified staff, sometimes severe budgetary constraints and, some may say, management teams that look to pull in the opposite direction.

And the consensus of opinion?

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Well, from the many replies I received (thanks guys) it would appear that THE area to be in is indeed security.

A couple of people (who I won’t name for obvious reasons) expressed some level of stress about quite specific issues either directly, privately or by inference but the overwhelming majority said they felt no stress at all.

Those who did say they felt some level of general anxiety at times pointed to meetings and their own personal time management –

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– but on the whole the responses were extremely positive with Javvad Malik being so chilled out you’d think he was some sort of global megastar or something and others not only taking the challenges in their stride but absolutely relishing them too.

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So why is it that infosec professionals appear to be more at ease in their work? Is it the nature of the work, the personnel within the industry (as I said to Neira, I think the community is fantastic) or is it something else?

I’ll leave you to think about that as I wouldn’t profess to have all the answers but I do think Graham Cluley may have hit the nail on the head with this comment:

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What do you think? Are you are infostressed employee or do the challenges of the industry and your passion for it allow you to remain relaxed and happy in your chosen career?

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