Every year the job-listing site Careercast.com ranks the top 10 most stressful jobs in the United States, based on 11 factors such as competition, physical demands, and work environment. Taking their rightful place at the top of the list are first responders like police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and the military. But there were two years in 2010 and 2011 that a new most stressful job appeared on the list: real estate agent. Well, clearly.

In CareerCast’s report explaining why real estate is such a stressful profession, they noted:

“Real estate agents and brokers work long, erratic hours including working most weekends and spend much of their time showing properties to clients. They must be extremely independent, and able to handle sales quotas and deadline pressures. The field is highly competitive, which can cause high levels of stress.” 

Now that’s a quote that deserves the big gray bracket treatment. For all those long hours worked — 9.5 daily on average — a real estate agent’s median pay is $40,000, though that’s not a set salary, causing more stress.

We’re all thankful to put the 2010 housing market crisis behind us, but the same job pressures remain. No job, let alone life, comes without stress. Actually, if I asked you to rate your stress level right now, you’d probably answer “5” without thinking. The American Psychological Association says that’s our overall average stress level, which crept up a notch this year over previous years. And that “5” is probably because I’m catching you reading CandysDirt.com on a good day.

So, what are you gonna do about all this stress?

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Meg Bartos launched Kanju — which tanslates to “creativity born of struggle” or “making more with less” — in the Dallas Design District. The store features high-end African art and decor, including the recycled glass and copper chandelier pictured.

Meg Bartos knows Africa better than most people. In a typical year, the Hockaday and SMU alum splits her time between Africa and the U.S., visiting tradesmen and artisans that supply Kanju Interiors — her Design District showroom — with myriad treasures carefully crafted by hand. But this is more of a passion project for Bartos, born of a deep love for Africa and its people. 

It’s also a very savvy business, as interest in Africa among start-ups and technology companies grows, so does the demand for people who can navigate the cultural and geographical landscape of the continent. It’s one reason that the Africa Expert Network will host “Africa House” at SXSW this weekend. And the furnishings, artwork, and decor of this technology-driven event? All of it will come from Kanju.

“The tradesmanship — this handiwork and luxury design — wouldn’t have a market without technology,” Bartos pointed out as we sat down for coffee in her showroom, which is full of incredible art and beautiful decor, each piece more intricate and well made than the last. 

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