Feel like your job is kicking your butt? Think you’ve had enough? Do you want to
throw in the towel, pack up your tent and go home? There are some obvious signs
of job burnout -behaviors that are as subtle as a train wreck and then there
are many that don’t make themselves obvious at all. So how do you know when
it’s time to cry uncle? This article by Tai Goodwin (as featured on
CAREEREALISM.com) helps identify some of those warning signs and even a few
ways to fix the problem. So take a little time to help make you more productive
at work, and maybe even enjoy those 40 hours a week.
7 Signs of Job Burnout (5 Ways to Fix It)
Reproduced from an article authored by:
Tai Goodwin, Career Makeover
Just like any other relationship, your relationship with your job is going to
have its ups and downs. In some cases it can be clear that the best solution is
for the two of you to separate – meaning you will need to find a new job. In
other cases, making a few changes to how you work can rekindle your passion for
what you do, allowing you to keep your job and your sanity.
You may not have any physical signs of burnout. The list below highlights seven
red flags that signal you may be overwhelmed and could benefit from making some
- It’s Monday
10 am and you can’t wait for Friday.
- Your meeting
status: unprepared and uninterested.
- You’re more
inspired to make an excuse than make a deadline.
- You daydream
about getting sick so you have an excuse to stay home.
- You avoid
people because you’re afraid of getting more work.
avoid you because they don’t want to hear about your workload.
- You use the
50/50 rule: you spend 50% of your time trying to figure out how to get out
of 50% of your work.
If these behaviors have
become the norm for you instead of the exception, you may have started to think
of yourself as a slacker. I’ve actually met very few people who are slackers;
what I encounter are people who are bored, haven’t found a way to find what
they are passionate about and as a result feel stuck in a job they hate. Going
into “slacker” mode is also a response to the frustration of being overworked,
underemployed, underpaid and poorly managed. Good news: If you identify with
any of the seven signs, there’s something you can do. Here’s a short list of
practical things you can do shift out of neutral and move into drive mode.
Get Real: Acknowledge how you are feeling about your work-life. Journal it,
talk about it with someone you don’t have to sensor yourself with, but stop
holding it in. The more you try to ignore how you really feel, the more anxiety
and frustration you will feel about your situation. The sooner you identify how
you feel, the sooner you can address it.
Get Inspired: Find a book, audio CD, or MP3 – something that tells
someone else’s success story and read it or listen to it. The focus here is to
connect with their ups and downs on their journey and the challenges they had
to overcome to reach their goals. Let their success motivate you to press
towards your vision despite how you feel right now.
Take Control: Are there too many meetings and tasks on your to-do list?
Become a guardian of your time and energy by mastering your schedule. Limit the
number of meetings you have a day: if your limit is four meetings, then meeting
number five that comes to your invite box gets declined or proposed for another
day and time. Set up a system for managing emails and prioritizing request. Make
sure you get outside or get to connect with other people so you are not
functioning in isolation every day.
Play a Different Role: Are you the team member that organizes
everything? Or are you the ad-hoc tech support person for your team? Maybe
you’re the one everyone goes to when there’s a last-minute crisis. Taking on a
specific role within your team may have boxed you in and now you can’t get out.
Whatever hat you normally wear – take it off. Changing how you engage can
change how you feel about your work and your colleagues.
Make a Plan: It can be really hard to stay motivated if you can’t see a
light at the end of the tunnel. Most people stay on the road to nowhere because
they haven’t made a map to go anywhere else. Start putting together a plan for
how you are going to escape or move into another role. It could mean going back
to school, updating your resume for a lateral move within your company,
expanding your professional network – the point here is to move from being
dominated by feelings of frustration to a place of action.