‘Burnout’ - are you recognising the symptoms?

No organisation wants their staff burned out but often they are the last to recognise it and the first to pile on the responsibilities.

Burnout is rarely caused by one thing but multiple factors at play, as such it may not just be down to your job. Morgan Hunt doesn't want to play doctor here because serious functional burnout is a medical condition, but there are some simple things that you can recognise and do to help yourself avoid getting job related burnout.

When experiencing work related burnout it can be difficult for you to perform at your best. Here are some of the most common symptoms of burnout:

  • Having little energy to be productive.
  • Having to force yourself to go to work and finding it difficult to start.
  • You feel no satisfaction from your achievements.
  • Feeling disillusioned about your job.
  • A change in sleeping habits or appetite.

It’s important to note that everyone experiences some of these symptoms at some point in their job and they will usually pass without too much disruption. However, if they persist for a length of time then you should start to take action. Identifying what is causing you to feel that way is the first step. The following are some of the most common causes:

  • You have no control over your job. Having no say in the decisions that affect you can leave you feeling stressed and insignificant.
  • You don't have the necessary resources to do your job effectively. Even the most capable amongst us will struggle to do a job without the tools they need. It can feel like you're constantly on an uphill struggle.
  • You're in the wrong job. Sometimes people are just in the wrong job. It doesn't suit their interests or career goals. This can cause them to feel increasingly dissatisfied over time.
  • You don't know what's expected of you. This can leave you feeling uneasy, especially if you don't know if you're doing something the correct way or not.
  • You find yourself at odds with your co-workers or boss. Having differences at work can really take their toll after a while. If you feel like you're constantly being undermined or micromanaged, actually doing your job properly can become difficult.

It is important that you don't feel you have to simply grin and bare it. Morgan Hunt suggest the following things you can do to help alleviate the situation and stop yourself from experiencing burnout:

Identify the real issue

Try to pinpoint exactly what is contributing to your stress. By identifying the problem you can take action.

Raise your concerns

It can be daunting to bring up a sensitive subject with a supervisor. They might not even realise that something they're doing is affecting you. Try to approach the situation from a work perspective and how the situation is affecting your ability to be productive.

Don't go it alone

Reach out to those around you to help deal with the symptoms of burnout. Sometimes just talking about your concerns with someone can lift a weight off your shoulders. Be it a co-worker, friend or loved one.

Get a new outlook

Sometimes you can get so bogged down with the negative that you can forget all the positive. What are the aspects of your job that you enjoy?  Recognise your own and others successes.

Get passionate

What are your interests and passions? Perhaps you feel burnt out at work because your interests have changed. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate your career options.

There are plenty of options available for you no matter what your situation. Remember to recognise if you're feeling burnout and take action to address it before it jeopardises your health and career.

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