Even if you love your job, the 9-to-5 routine can be exhausting at times. Aggressive deadlines, commuting, and running from meeting to meeting are enough to wear on anyone. When stress from our professional lives overloads us, we can succumb to what’s known as “burnout”. A recent Gallup poll found that 67% of full-time employees report suffering from burnout at some point.
In this article, we’ll go over the different types of job burnout, as well as some coping mechanisms to help prevent them.
Overload is what most of us think of when we hear the term “burnout”. Overload occurs when we push our boundaries by constantly working late hours and compromising our personal time. Eventually, this lack of work/life balance can cause severe exhaustion and lack of motivation.
The Solution: If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, it might be time to reevaluate your workload and take some items off your plate. If necessary, it may be time to speak to management about making adjustments. When your obligations are daunting and unrealistic, it does not favor you or your organization. You might also want to consider taking some time off to reset.
2. Under-Challenged Stress
Another form of burnout comes from feeling under-challenged in our work. Individuals in this group can feel undervalued and like they’re undervalued and struggle to find satisfaction from their professional life. This is common when people their roles lack incentives for learning and space for professional development. In the worst cases, this type of burnout can lead to responsibility avoidance and general detachment from one’s job.
The Solution: If you feel under-challenged, it may be time to rearrange your responsibilities to make time for personal development. Of course, finding that time is not always the easiest task.
First make an inventory of the tasks on your plate and prioritize the jobs that absolutely require your involvement. Next, set a long-term goal for a challenge you’d like to pursue; this can be a new technology to master, or a new specialty you’d like to explore. Finally, make time in your schedule to set short-term goals to help master this new talent. Every step you take will help you feel rewarded and help to bring you out of that slump. If you’re lucky, you could find a whole new passion to focus on.
The final form of burnout, negligence, stems from a sense of complete helplessness at work. This stems from employees feeling unable to keep up with the demands of their career. This type of burnout is typically marked by passivity and a loss of motivation.
The Solution: If you think you are experiencing negligence, it’s important to try and recover a sense of control in your position. If there are specific areas of your job that are causing you to feel helpless, don’t be afraid to seek out advice from a colleague that’s well-versed in the area you’re struggling with. Beyond this, you may have no choice but to set some personal limits- some work may need to be delayed so that you can focus on your most pressing responsibilities, or even delegated or outsourced. Sometimes the best way to regain a sense of control is to focus your energy on your job’s most rewarding projects and maintain some consistency.
Now that you’ve learned about the different types of career burnout, hopefully you’ll be better prepared to identify any personal struggles you feel down the road. If you start to feel like you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s imperative to take the necessary steps to recuperate before the feeling snowballs. Remember to maintain some separation between your professional and personal life, and always practice self-care.