Job burnout is more than just a buzzword; it’s a serious issue affecting countless working individuals. A survey conducted by Indeed in 2021 found that of 1,500 U.S. workers, 52% felt burned out because of their job demands, and 67% believe the feeling worsened over the course of the pandemic.
Whether you’re in a job that’s just a stepping stone or in your dream career that’s become a grind, burnout can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. This article aims to provide a holistic view of job burnout, its symptoms, consequences and actionable tips to combat it.
What is Job Burnout?
The World Health Organization defines burnout as an occupational phenomenon “conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Understanding the nuances of job burnout can be the first step in addressing it effectively.
Symptoms to Watch For
A few symptoms that could indicate job burnout include:
- Becoming cynical, impatient, or critical of others
- Reduced productivity and difficulty concentrating
- Unexplained physical complaints like headaches or stomach problems
If you notice these symptoms, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent further deterioration of your well-being.
The Consequences of Ignoring Burnout
Marie Fahringer, MA, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor with 12 years of experience, warns that ignoring the signs of burnout can lead to “significant consequences.” These may include insomnia, stress, fatigue and chronic conditions like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Fahringer highlights that the environment at work can play a significant role in your feelings of burnout. A “highly stressful” working environment can cause negative feelings. You may want to observe where your work stress stems from and focus on positive outcomes you can control.
“It’s all in the attitude. Even if it’s negative, you must look for the positive,” says Fahringer.
Tips to Combat Job Burnout
Action is key. If you are experiencing burnout, here are a few tips to get you through.
- Seek Support: Don’t underestimate the power of a strong support network. Talk to friends, family or co-workers who can provide emotional support or practical advice.
- Exercise and Sleep: Physical well-being is closely linked to mental well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise and sleep to help combat stress.
- Consult Employee Assistance Programs: Many companies offer employee assistance programs that provide resources for mental health. Don’t hesitate to use them.
- Talk to Your Supervisor: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be helpful to have an open conversation with your supervisor about your workload and how it’s affecting you.
Job burnout is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach for effective management. By understanding its symptoms and consequences and by taking proactive steps, you can protect both your career and your well-being.