I have defined the hallmarks of professional burnout in previous posts. But, what is the opposite of burnout and how is that defined?
If you will recall, the burnout syndrome is three dimensional with the salient features of exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy. So, what exactly is the opposite of burnout? In a word, the positive antithesis of burnout is engagement.
To be engaged is to be completely present in your work. In fact, work is no longer viewed as work when one is fully engaged. No longer considered labor, work becomes a wellspring of joy and pleasure through intentional and purposeful effort to create or produce using one’s unique natural talents and abilities.
An onlooker would be hard pressed to tell if a fully engaged individual is actually working or playing. That’s because a fully engaged individual does not work. They are simply expressing who they are by what they do. They are demonstrating to the world their passion and purpose.
Engagement has the salient features of energy, involvement and efficacy, the exact opposites of exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy. It describes a positive job-related state of mind characterized by:
- Vigor – Vigor reflects high energy, mental resilience, a willingness invest effort in one’s work and persistence in the face of difficulties. Keyword: ENERGY
- Dedication – a strong involvement in one’s work with a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, challenge and achievement. Keyword: INVOLVEMENT
- Absorption – happily engrossed and so concentrated in one’s work that time passes quickly to a point where one has difficulty separating and detaching from work. Keyword: EFFICACY
Wow! Do you feel that way about your work? If you do, you are fully engaged. If not, well, maybe the time has come for some introspection.