A majority of American workers have experienced burnout at some point in their careers. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean burnout is inevitable — or inescapable.
To learn more about how to navigate job burnout, check out the infographic below, created by Pearson Pathways.
Our working lives can come with a lot of pressure. About three-quarters of employees experience burnout at least sometimes. How do you tell if the pressure has escalated to burnout? Signs of burnout include exhaustion and physical discomfort. It can also make you feel alienated from your work, meaning you have a negative outlook on your workload, have trouble concentrating, or feel listless and lack creativity.
You’re at greater risk of burnout if your work-life balance skews too much toward work. You may find that you’re doing a lot of overtime, you’re trying to help everyone at work and at home, and you don’t quite feel in control.
Other signs of burnout include a strong reluctance to go to work, trouble getting started at work, and excessive critical or cynical thoughts about work. You might experience unusually frequent feelings of irritation, impatience, or disillusionment about your job. Burnout can also affect sleeping patterns and cause physical ailments, such as headaches.
Failing to address job burnout can have a wide range of negative results. It can cause excessive stress, fatigue, insomnia, anger, and irritability. What should you do? Get help!
Talk to your supervisor to see if you can set new goals or better identify what must be done now versus what can wait. Seek support from your friends, family, and co-workers. Don’t forget to focus on what you can do for yourself: practice mindfulness, take a vacation, take a break from alcohol and caffeine, and prioritize a healthy routine. In more extreme cases, you may also wish to consider a family or medical leave, or even changing jobs.
Knowing how to identify burnout and treat it is important. Establishing a healthy work-life balance can help you avoid job burnout altogether. Start by prioritizing the creation and maintenance of a healthy workplace. That can mean setting boundaries, prioritizing wellness check-ins, getting professional help from a therapist if needed, and following enjoyable pre- and post-work routines.
It also helps to be intentional with any new work you take on. Ask yourself: Is this a must-do? What might the emotional and physical costs be? Is this worth my time and effort? Will this have a net positive or net negative impact on me? Is it more important to be focusing on work or loved ones at this particular time?
- Ask a Manager, “How to Explain to Interviewers That You Left a Job Due to Burnout”
- The Balance, “10 Ways to Deal With Work Burnout”
- Calmer, “What Are the Five Stages of Burnout?”
- CNBC, “6 Ways to Manage Burnout During a Long Job Search”
- Forbes, “9 Ways to Recover From Burnout and Love Your Job Again”
- Gallup, “Employee Burnout: The Biggest Myth”
- Healthline, “How to Prevent Burnout”
- HelpGuide, “Burnout Prevention and Treatment”
- Lifehack, “How to Spot Job Burnout and Ways to Cope With It”
- Mayo Clinic, “Job Burnout: How to Spot It and Take Action”
- The Muse, “How to Bounce Back From a Burnout Better Than Before”
- NCBI, “Depression: What Is Burnout?”
- The New York Times, “Avoid Burnout Before You’re Already Burned Out”
- Pew Research Center, “A Third of Americans Experienced High Levels of Psychological Distress During the Coronavirus Outbreak”
- Trello, “Lessons From Leaders on How to Combat and Prevent Burnout”
- The Wall Street Journal, “How to Prevent and Recover from Job Burnout”
- WHO, “Burn-Out an ‘Occupational Phenomenon’: International Classification of Diseases”
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