Feeling Burned Out? Answering These Questions Can Fix It
Losing or changing your job can make you stressed
Here's proof. On the Holmes and Rahe stress scale (which scores various life change events on a stress scale), Dismissal from work was ranked #8 and Change to a different line of work #18. According to the study, these factors cause stress, burnout, and eventually illness too, if they are combined.
What’s even worse than stress is feeling burned out at work. The Harvard Business Review describes burnout as a “Slow Fizzle” - a feeling that builds over time before collapsing. People experiencing burnout end up feeling helpless, trapped, and depleted.
How to Recognize Job Burnout
Some important signs that indicate you might be suffering from job stress or burnout are -
You’re not excited about work anymore
You’re feeling down, irritable or impatient
You aren’t as productive as you used to be
You’re giving in to bad habits that you wouldn’t normally indulge in
You’re avoiding social situations
You are experiencing physical symptoms and feeling unwell
Are you feeling burned out at work? What are you doing to recover?
Cause of your career burnout
If you find out what’s causing your burnout, addressing that early on would make a difference to your overall well-being.
Here are some helpful pointers -
Are you overworked at your job? - Burnout often relates to job and professional triggers, like the stress of a demanding job. Are you having a rigorous schedule at work?
Are you bored of doing the same job? - You may be really good at your job, but do you feel excited about doing it every single day? Is your answer NO? Then consider switching careers.
Are you doing too much on your own? - This is an ideal environment for burnout to fester. Sometimes we all bend so much that we break. That’s when burnout happens.
Have no time for personal life? - Is your work-life out of balance? Do you wish you had more time to eat healthy, exercise, and spend time with friends and family?
According to Ron Friedman, the founder of ignite80, we’re at greater risk of burnout today than we were 10 years ago.
Burnout has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace.
Can you come back from a career burnout?
Burnout can leave you feeling tired all the time. It can even affect your concentration and make simple things harder for you. You become so drained that you have no idea what to do.
Recovering from career burnout
Changing to a different line of work is one of the major reasons for career burnout.
Many professionals in their 30’s and 40’s want to change their careers.
Few reasons I have seen are - they all want better pay, career growth, want to reignite their passion for work, want to be valued by the company, want an opportunity to learn new things, and most importantly want work-life balance.
But how do you figure all this out!?
If you are someone who is working 40-50 hours a week and trying to understand what your next career move should be without any help, you are probably heading towards mental exhaustion and burnout.
Here are some questions that helped me fix burnout when I reinvented my career at 42.
Answering these questions gave me clarity on my next steps, and I realized my stress levels were slowly disappearing day by day. I was more aligned with what I wanted in my career.
To know more about how I switched careers without the overwhelm, follow me here.
Fix career burnout - 5 crucial questions to ask yourself
What's Working For You Right Now?
What are your strengths? What do you do well? If you are thinking of a career switch, it has to be based on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
What's The Life You Want, Beyond Your Career?
Does the switch lead to a life you want, beyond just the career? What else would it change? Maybe you get a bigger job and more money, but what about work/life balance, wellness, time for leisure, etc. What else might change?
What Barriers Exist?
What's coming in the way of the change, and how can you overcome them?
Can You Afford It?
An often overlooked item - money. If you want to do something different, how does it affect your finances and your quality of life? Is it still acceptable?
How Does This Affect Those Close To You?
In my experience, this is the most often ignored item. Remember you are not alone. Any change you make affects those around you. Do they understand what your change means to their lives? Are they bought in?
Take time to refuel
According to the Webster dictionary, burnout is - "the cessation of operation usually of a jet or rocket engine" So burnout happens when your machine stops. You're running on empty.
There's no fuel left.
So that begs the question - What is your fuel? Or in other words - What drives you? When I was exhausted, I asked myself this. Ask yourself too. And before you burnout!
My fuel was - "doing something new every day" So, what did I do about it? I refueled. By trying something new every day. Talking to a stranger. Reading about a new topic. Eating a new dish. Taking a walk in a new place. Finding a new exercise.
You can't restart a rocket by letting it rest. You need to refuel it.
I realized I didn't need rest to recover.
I needed more fuel.
And when I found it, I felt alive again!