Feeling burnout this time of year isn’t uncommon. It’s been a long (and for some of us very snowy) winter. We are all desperate for spring, sunshine and some inspiration.
Experiencing a job burnout is also not that uncommon.
If you are fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the term job burnout, it’s defined as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in job performance.”
The cause: stress.
The symptoms: exhaustion, lack of motivation, frustration, (crying in the office bathroom on Monday mornings), cynicism, etc.
Workplace stress isn’t a joke.
A staggering 120,000 people will die of symptoms of workplace related stress this year. With the bulk of our lives spent at work, it’s understandable that work causes stress. But, let’s pump the breaks, work isn’t worth losing your life over.
How did we get to be so cynical in the first place?
Few people wake up in the morning and set a goal to be cynical and disengaged at work. For the most part, people enjoy their jobs. Maybe not all of their workload and responsibilities, but a decent amount of it.
According to the American Psychological Association, one-third of workers feel tense or stressed at work. Several factors can contribute to work-related stress, including:
- Lack of control. It is natural to want to be in control of a situation. When people feel like they are losing control, they become unraveled and are unable to perform their daily responsibilities.
- Unrealistic job expectations. Being asked to go above in beyond is one thing, but being asked to do something you are not capable of incredibly frustrating and very stressful. In fact, almost half (40%) of the workforce admits to being stressed over unrealistic job expectations.
- Lack of opportunities to grow. Nobody wants to be in a dead-end job. People crave growth and want to work companies that invest in their skillset and future. Not having these opportunities is stressful, in fact 43% of the workforce experiences stress due to no advancement opportunities.
- No work, life balance: The so-called 40 Hour Workweek is actually 47 hours. And, 18% of full time employees spend 60+ hours a week at work (or at least working). With those numbers, it should come to no surprise that 39% of people attribute work-related stress to long hours.
Reigniting the passion.
If you are feeling that things at work are spiraling out of control and throwing you into a tailspin, take a deep breath and consider taking these suggestions to heart.
- Evaluate your options. If you’re in a particularly bad job with no happiness in sight, it might be time for you to move on down the road. If you love your job, and are unhappy with the situation, talk to someone. Just be sure you create a plan of attack. Explore opportunities in and out of your organization. Don’t make rash decisions based on emotion. Clear your mind and figure out what you want from your career.
- Break the chain. If everyday nuances give you the blues, do something fun and interesting for yourself. Treat yourself to that lunch break you never take. Step out of the office and go for a walk. Shut your computer down at 5:00 p.m. and don’t look at your work email until the next morning. Small things add up.
- Keep growing, keep learning. “Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” – Brain Tracy. It’s true. People that keep growing and keep learning are not only making a difference in our world, they’re happy. Master a new skill. Pick up a new hobby. Read a book. Think about the different ways you can develop your mind and invest in yourself. Those who do find themselves living a happy, productive (and almost stress-free!) life.
Don’t burn out! There are always options and workplace stress shouldn’t be one of them. For more information about your organization can help with their enterprise-wide learning and development programs, please visit www.meridianks.com. If you decide you can’t spend another day in your current job check out job listings at http://www.meridianks.com/career.html We want smart, talented, inspired people!