Saving Your Career from Job Burnout

Stressed Office Worker

Saving Your Career from Job Burnout
Are you working on adrenaline and caffeine to push yourself to work faster and for longer hours?  Are you working under constant pressure from your supervisor or from your working conditions?  Are you taking shortcuts by eating at your desk, reading your email on your smartphone during breaks, and trying to do several tasks at the same time?  Your efforts for high achievement can destroy your success.

Herbert Freudenberger popularized the term job “burnout” in 1974 in his book “Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.” He defined burnout as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”  Freudenberger described a burned-out worker as resembling the shell of a burned out building.  The picture that Freudenberger paints is a warning sign against career disaster.

Here are common symptoms of job burnout.

  1. You lose interest in your job.
  2. You procrastinate, or you simply cannot work.
  3. Your work has lost its meaning.
  4. You feel powerless over the results of your work.
  5. You feel exhausted.
  6. You suffer ongoing depression or anxiety. 
  7. You criticize everyone.
  8. You become a perfectionist. You work too long, because nothing is ever good enough.

Job burnout can come from several factors.  

  1. Doing endless hours of work that is mind numbing or stressful
  2. Working under constant criticism and correction
  3. Not taking regular breaks to eat or rest
  4. Failing to do things that give your mind a change in activity
  5.  Working in a job that is a mismatch
  6. Working too long each day and too many days a week

The solution for job burnout is change.

  1. Take breaks.
  2. Find emotional support through friendships and family.
  3. Try new things.
  4. Make a list of your work priorities.  Do one thing at a time.
  5. Get regular physical exercise.
  6. Learn techniques for resting your mind from work: meditation, pleasant and interesting reading, watching or listening to television, radio, or video programs that are relaxing, motivational, or inspirational.
  7. Change jobs.

The danger of job burnout is that you ruin your health, and you ruin your career.  Having a successful career begins with you taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Images: Microsoft Office Art©

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