Your "pace" refers to how quickly you work. Some jobs require you to work at a fairly steady, unchanging pace for the entire work day. On a scale of 1-10, "steady" means you are at a "5." No job is steady all of the time, however. Keep in mind that you still have to manage your time and meet deadlines for steady pace jobs!
Some jobs require you to change your pace, depending on what is going on that day or even in that moment. Usually, the pace of a work environment changes depending on the number of customers or on the intensity of customer need. There are three main work paces in some jobs: Steady, Peak, and Slow.
How busy are you? – a level 5 on a scale of 1-10.
- You are a waitress and the restaurant is half full.
- You are a bus boy with 1-2 tables to clean off.
- You are a cashier with two customers in line.
- You are a computer support specialist with one customer waiting on the phone for assistance.
- You are a pharmacy technician with 3 prescriptions to fill.
How busy are you? – a level 8 on a scale of 1-10.
This may be a more stressful period because more customers are waiting for assistance.
- You are a waitress and the restaurant is full.
- You are a bus boy with 6 tables to clean off.
- You are a cashier with 5 customers in line.
- You are a computer support specialist with 3 customers waiting on the phone for assistance.
- You are a pharmacy technician with 8 prescriptions to fill.
How busy are you? – a level 2 on a scale of 1-10.
- You are a waitress and the restaurant is almost empty.
- You are a bus boy with no tables to clean.
- You are a cashier with no customers in line.
- You are a computer support specialist with no customers.
- You are a pharmacy technician with 1 prescription to fill.
Here is a list of jobs that might require you to change your pace between steady, peak, and slow across the day:
- Auto Mechanic
- Bank Teller
- Bus Boy
- Computer Repair and Maintenance Worker
- Computer Support Specialist
- Grocery Bagger
- Office Clerk
- Pharmacy Technician
- Veterinary Technician
- Waiter / Waitress
Sometimes, your job may require you to tolerate certain environmental demands that you do not like. No work environment is perfect all the time. Everyone has to cope with certain job-related environmental demands.
How can you cope with jobs that require you to work at a fast (peak) pace? You might need to ask your supervisor for permission before using some of these strategies. You may also need help from a job coach or other support person to arrange some of these strategies:
Take deep breaths when you are feeling stressed.
Use headphones to help you stay focused on the task.
Use specifically labeled trays, folders, shelves to keep your materials in one place and organized.
Work in a separate work area, table, desk, or cubicle to reduce distractions.
Take scheduled breaks so you can "slow down" – eat, rest, and relax for a few minutes.
It is important to learn coping strategies and techniques so you will keep the job you want. Go to the Coping Section for help.