There isn’t a single industry or profession that doesn’t have a detectable rate of job related burnout. Sure, some are higher than others but job related burnout should be avoided in any profession if at all possible.
It is the nature of burnout to make an individual feel as though they are locked into their current line of work and locked out of seeking other better and more rewarding opportunities. Burnout leaves people feeling stuck, as if they were cemented into place.
It much easier to deal with this workplace hazard by proactively preventing it rather than putting in the energy required to alleviate or eliminate it once it has gained a firm footing. This can best be accomplished by following these guidelines for proactively managing job related burnout.
- Know this one fact — you can never live a life of passion driven purpose if you are burned out.
- Know the symptoms — emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, a lack of a sense of personal accomplishment. Knowing these is paramount for early detection which makes change easier in the beginning. If you are already burned out, now you know the source for your feelings. You’re not just stressed. It’s something more.
- Know that burnout is different from stress — you can be stressed out but not burned out, but if you’re burned out I am 100% certain you are stressed. Stress and burnout are very different. They are addressed and managed in much different ways. Treating them as if they are the same will not alleviate the symptoms of burnout. Left untreated, prolonged stress from burnout can be devastating.
- Know the source — only about 10% of individuals burn themselves out. It is the work environment which burns out the individual nearly 90% of the time. Laboring away in a toxic work environment is no way to live.
- Know the six major causes of workplace burnout — Work Overload, Lack of Control, Insufficient Reward, Breakdown of Community, Absence of Fairness and Conflicting Values, these are the six major job-employee mismatches which cause job burnout. Wherever theses are present, in high number or intensity, employee turnover rates will be high. Always ask a potential employer the annual percentage of employee turnover. Always ask employees of the company about the six major causes, which ones they feel may be present and to what degree.
- Know your core values — core value guided decision making will make the decision to change easier, for the right reasons and in the right direction. Making decisions counter to your core values almost guarantees a bad or undesirable outcome. Do you know your top ten core values? If you have never taken a core values inventory you should. You can download a free Core Values Inventory (CVI) from the upper right hand corner of this screen.
- Know the status of your four realms — seek a life of balance. If you are burning yourself out, your life is out of balance. One or more of your four realms is suffering. The four realms are Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. All of these need to be attended to in equal measure if you want to achieve self-awareness and maximize happiness.
- Know that job security is a myth — how many companies last 100 years? Fifty? Thirty? Very few. Of the original thirty Dow components, only GE remains. All of the other companies are gone. Your current employer is one bad decision away from bankruptcy. Mass layoffs are now common in many industries. Holding on to your hateful job because you feel it is secure is the lie people tell themselves to avoid confronting the decision to make needed change.
- Know it’s your responsibility to act — you must be the agent of the change you wish to see in own your life. No one is going to come galloping in to rescue you. You’re not going to win the lottery. There is no magic fairy dust. If you feel you are burning out or in a dead end job doing work which does not allow you to fully express you unique set of talents and abilities, it is up to you to make change happen. Stop stopping yourself. Remove the obstacles you have placed on your own path. Acquire resilience. Make a plan. Implement it.
Using these guidelines will give you the best chance of avoiding, alleviating or preventing job related burnout. If you feel you need help making a change there are many, like myself, who coach people in transitioning from where they are to where they want to be — their preferred future.
Do you feel you are burning out? Burned out? Do you hate your job and feel stuck? If so, I would love for you to comment below. Or, if you want, let’s chat! Just click on the microphone over on the right or on the CONTACT button below.