After years of dedicated hard work, you have finally scored your dream job! Armed with a renewed sense of pride, ambition, and motivation – you aim to impress your new employers with your commendable work ethics. Getting into the office early? Sure, why not. Staying beyond office hours? Of course! Working during weekends? If it’s a required sacrifice for the paycheck package you’ve signed up for, you’ll do it.
However, as you move along your job you slowly experienced the unthinkable – the sense of excitement dissipates. Instead, it is replaced by chronic stress, exhaustion, frustration, and anxiety. Worst, you noticed a decline in your work performance and having a balanced life is practically non-existent. What do you do, quit your job then?
It is Official -You Are Experiencing Burnout
Previously defined only as a “state of vital exhaustion, burnout is now an official diagnosable condition by World Health Organisation as a “syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Dangerously, you are part of 23% of employees feeling burnout according to recent Gallup studies in May 2019.
In simplified terms, burnout means your tank, once filled with resources gets depleted over time as your work demands exceed your resources. Burnout can wreak havoc upon your happiness, relationships, and job performances.
To check if you have the symptoms of burnout, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel exhausted or tired all the time?
A common indicator of burnouts, you can tell this almost immediately. You will feel drained not only physically, but emotionally and mentally, besides feeling demotivated at work. Even getting out of bed and preparing to go to the office becomes a challenging task.
- Are you losing interest or enthusiasm about your work?
You gradually experienced increased mental distance from your job. With every chance you get, you procrastinate and finish the tasks only due to guilt and obligation but not from feeling excited, invigorated or invested in the role.
- Do you feel frustrated or getting very cynical?
You become more pessimistic in the outlook of things than usual and generally feel your accomplishments do not amount to anything. At first, you may have contributed many ideas but seeing that none of them gets implemented, you feel hopeless to make a situation better.
- Is your work performance suffering?
With too much workload in hand, you have taken a longer time than usual to complete your daily tasks. Additionally, you feel disinterest in your projects and indifferent even when you missed your deadlines or your job performance is not up to par.
- Experiencing arise in health problems?
If you consistently fell ill and subsequently utilising more of your medical leaves, your body is telling you to pay attention to your health. Your poor health can manifest in a multitude of ways such as disgestive issues, heart disease, headaches, muscle tension, hypertension, flu, sleep disturbance, and even depression.
If your answers are mostly yes, no- you don’t have to quit your job. It is now time to step out of your workspace and step into methods to overcoming your burnout:
Step 1. Slow down and take some time off
Bring out your scented candles, bubble bath and most of all, your favorite hobbies to do! Be it sports, fitness activities or volunteer works – do unplug and unwind. It’s time to set boundaries by turning off your phones during meals or only attend to your emails during specific hours of the day.
Step 2. Seek support from your workplace
Nothing is wrong with seeking help – discuss with your manager and your colleagues about your capabilities. Set limitations and a reasonable timeline for jobs undertaken. Delegation is the key to achieving a balanced working environment and if you need a fresher perspective at work, ask if you can be reassigned to a new project.
Step 3. Get organised – keep track with a journal
As the saying goes, “work will never be finished”. True to that, get serious about your work priorities and if you have to, compartmentalise them into urgent but not important tasks or vice versa.
Overall, burnout is a serious global stress phenomenon, and it should not be taken lightly. It is more than a bad day or a tough week at work.
We are after all, human beings and we can only push ourselves further by having room to breathe! Remember to rejuvenate for your well-being and take control when you notice things that aren’t working out for your career. If it isn’t, perhaps it’s time to go into a new one here.