Hi, my name is Dr. Clark Gaither. I am a family physician, author, speaker, consultant, personal coach and blogger. I want to talk to you about a topic I am very passionate about – Job Related Burnout.
I became interested in job related burnout because I became burned out in my chosen profession as a family physician. It wasn’t something I wanted to happen. It wasn’t something I thought could happen. It didn’t happen overnight and I didn’t recognize it for what it was at first. All I knew was, I was miserable.
The onset was insidious. I began to feel more and more time pressured at work. The demands of my job began to seem too unclear, unreasonable, chaotic and high pressured. Work no longer seemed to be as challenging. Making myself go to work seemed the bigger challenge.
An overwhelming sense of dread associated with going to work began to creep in along with a sense of relief when the weekend finally arrived. I began to develop an uncomfortable feeling I had to be too many things for far too many people. There was a general sense no time could be take off from work without negative consequences. I had trouble concentrating. I felt as though I had no help.
I became less patience, less empathetic, less enthusiastic and more irritable, intolerant, exhausted and cynical. I began to disengage from patients, friends, and family. I became unmotivated, uninterested and uninteresting. I no longer felt recognized or rewarded for good, hard work.
Eventually, I felt as though I had nothing left to give. Clearly, this was not what I signed up for when I chose medicine as a career.
Believe me, when you begin to experience these feelings in your chosen profession, you will also feel as though you are no longer making a difference. You will begin to question everything – your profession, relationships, interests and activities. You’ll feel you do not fit in them or they do not fit you, that maybe you should be doing something else with your life because you have nothing left to give to the life you have.
Tragically, some severely burned out individuals begin to feel as though life is no longer worth living. In my profession, suicide among physicians is six times higher than in the general population.
Continuously questioning yourself, “Is this all there is to life? Is there nothing more?” could be a sign you are burned out at your job, a relationship, or on life and living.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The thing is, people who are burned out rarely recognize their symptoms as burnout. They may incorrectly ascribe their feelings to ambivalence, anxiety, stress, depression, sadness or increased irritability. Although, burnout can lead to all of these mood changes, they are not the underlying cause. They are just symptoms.
Those who know someone who is burning out or burned out may be left to wonder, is the change in their behavior is due to stress, depression, drug use, relationship problems, money problems, a personality disorder, character defects? Again, work related burnout is not usually suspected as the cause.
The key to recognizing burnout is to become familiar with these symptoms and to know and understand the principle hallmarks of burnout. To download a FREE 21 Symptoms of Burnout Checklist click on the link directly below this video.
In the next video in this series, I will be define for you the three principle hallmarks of job related burnout.
To view the video and additional commentary, click on Job Related Burnout Video Introduction.
If you have questions or would like to discuss whether or not your are suffering from job related burnout, or what to do about it, click the CONTACT button below.