Health and wellness an emerging skill for graduates searching for jobs

A report on employers found health and wellness, including stress management and work-life balance, to be an emerging knowledge area for new hires

Job skills, educational background, and positive references are all components that employers look for in hiring new employees, but a 2006 study found that three-quarters (76.1 percent) of the 400 nation-wide employees surveyed found that “making appropriate choices concerning health and wellness, e.g. nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and work-life effectiveness” to be the most critical, emerging content area for future graduates.

The “Are They Really Ready to Work” report discusses how escalating health care costs are a major concern in many corporations and that “employers are shifting responsibility for managing employer-provided health care benefits from the employer to the employee.” At the same time, companies are also focusing more on helping employees in this area when evidence has shown that reducing stress and helping with work-life balance can lead to greater productivity and lower turnover rates.

With the large impact that stress, health and wellness, and work-life effectiveness has on the workplace health care costs as well as the major impact it can have in your own life, what are some ways you can improve your knowledge or skill in this area?

  • Develop a stress management plan that works for you, including exercise, relaxation techniques, healthy eating, good sleeping patterns and more to help maintain a positive habit in your career.
  • Attend a Michigan 4-H Youth Development program in your local community or at the Kettunen Center or Exploration Days that focuses on stress, health, nutrition, healthy choices and fitness.
  • Talk to your doctor or other healthcare professionals about changes you could personally benefit from to improve your health and wellness.
  • Check out and engage in learning with the resources on the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website for food, nutrition and fitness and health and well-being. There are great tools there for youth to use and for adults to use with young people!
  • Read articles and apply knowledge gained from the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension news website under the topics of “healthy youth” and “food and health.” Information on MSUE programs you can attend in this topic area can also be found at that website.
  • Make the decision to learn more and change your personal habits! Gather friends and family and make the changes together. A support system helps!

The same “Are They Really Ready to Work” report found another emerging content area, financial management and entrepreneurial efforts, also critical for new graduates. That article can be found on the MSU Extension news website.

Your health – and your career – will improve when you learn stress techniques, eat well, exercise and achieve a work-life effectiveness balance in your life.

Related MSU Extension news article: Entrepreneurial and financial skills get jobs

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