Schools Training

A Dispatcher Life Can be a Stress-free Life

12 OCT 2012
Career Path : Automotive

Having responsibility in your career is rewarding. It makes you feel as if your time and effort mean something, and it is gratifying to know that other people can rely on you to fulfil your duties. When you get a job with a good deal of responsibility, it is a testament to your capabilities and reliability. But with responsibility often comes stress. A little bit of stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it can keep you on your toes and keep things exciting. But a lot of stress can have negative effects not only on your work performance, but on your general happiness and even physical health.

A transportation dispatcher has a lot of responsibility, and therefore, runs the risk of being very stressed-out. A dispatcher must be extremely organized and be able to keep a lot of information ready and accessible to many different people at all times. Dispatchers must also be ready for unexpected problems that demand immediate attention. Also, a dispatcher spends most of his or her time seated in front of a computer, plugged into a virtual network as well as constantly listening in with headsets to updates, questions and commands. All of these factors can contribute to stress if not managed properly.

If you are considering this career, first ask yourself how well you are able to handle stress. Are you organized? Can you handle spontaneous problem-solving? Does remaining at a desk being plugged in to many networks suit you? Proper dispatcher training can give you a feel for the atmosphere to help you decide if you can handle this work.

Here are some tips to help manage stress on a dispatching job.

Stay organized

– Begin your day with arranging everything on your desk into piles based on priority

– File away, or throw out, any papers or material you no longer need

– Use reminders and calendars, especially software versions, like Microsoft Outlook

– Use sticky notes for important details to remember

– Clean your desk before leaving for the day

Problem solving

– Stay calm even if the trucker or client is getting excited

– Keep written records of each problem for future reference in case of similar situations

– Check up with drivers and clients regularly to catch any impending problem before it gets serious

– Ask for assistance or delegate tasks to not get overwhelmed by a problem

Rest and exercise

– Get up from your desk and stretch several times a day

– Look away from your screen for a few seconds often

– Take off your headset often

– Go for walks at lunch

Some these suggestions can apply to almost any desk job, while others are more specific to this kind of work. A dispatch training course should encourage some of these daily habits in preparation for this job. But it is up to every dispatcher to be aware of their own stress levels and to manage their responsibilities in a level-headed way.

Visit the Canadian Automotive & Trucking Institute to learn more about dispatcher courses.