When people first enter their professional careers, they are filled with energy and ambition. They have the drive to excel in their chosen fields, tackling all tasks with enthusiasm. However, for many people, the daily rigors of competitive business, financial stress, workload pressure, and other factors prove too much. They enter a chronic state known as burnout. Burnout can harm your career plans. It can be extremely harmful to your health.
What is Burnout and How to Overcome It?
Burnout at the workplace is actually a lot more common than you would imagine. It can also be extremely detrimental to your job as well as your health. There are no set causes for burnouts, but many people who have experienced the condition cite similar things. When I had a burnout 4 years into my legal career at a high-powered legal firm, I realized it was triggered by:
- Perceived lack of control.
- Relentless workload.
- Hostile work environment.
Many people encounter some or all of these factors every day at the workplace and manage not to burn out. There were at least 6 other associates with me, sharing the same small windowless room and the firm’s Spectrum packages. Yet, I was the only one who actually had a burnout. How do you know if you have a career burnout? The answer is that you will begin to display the following behaviors at work:
- Reduced productivity.
- Chronic exhaustion.
Luckily, while career burnout can be chronic, it doesn’t have to be if you take the right steps to overcome it. This blog explores the following tips that can help you with career burnout:
- Try More Selfishness
- Foster New Workplace Relationships
- Limit Digital Use
- Find Fulfilment
- Meditate Frequently
Let’s take a closer look at these tips below and see how they can help combat and overcome career burnout. Read on to find out more.
Try More Selfishness
Happiness comes from being able to express your emotions and realizing your potential. This is part of Maslow’s theory of self-actualization. You may not be able to avoid burnout if you limit yourself to saying “yes” to anyone who requests your help. Especially when you are swamped with a significant workload of your own.
Learn to be selfish about your time and say “no” to colleagues requesting your help. When a task is beyond your job description, you shouldn’t have to spend time on it. Politely but firmly deny any requests of this type when they are things not included in your job description.
Foster New Workplace Relationships
In the business environment as well as in personal life, people have uplifting experiences when they give and receive positive vibes. You should not have to face career burnout on your own. Not when you can surround yourself with people with a positive outlook on life. These people are more likely to make efforts to grow their careers, which you can gain support from. The positive vibes they give off help keep you energized and focused on your work.
Limit Digital Use
One of the best ways to handle career burnout is to take a few days off. However, in practice, it is very tough to get a two-week vacation, considering the fast pace of the business world. The next best thing is long weekends, but those are also frowned upon if taken regularly. The easiest thing to do to ward off burnout is to limit your digital use after hours. Place your work phone and laptop in a convenient drawer when you get home. Make it a habit to turn your digital devices off after a certain point in the evening, say around 7:30 or 8:00 pm.
It is up to you to find meaning and fulfillment in your work. Identify the specific aspects of your job that you enjoy the most. Try to dedicate more of your workday to these tasks. Another thing you can try is to ask your manager if you can work specifically on tasks in line with your strengths and responsibilities.
You can also find fulfillment outside the workplace. Find a passion project that you find meaningful. This can be anything from reading a book to building model airplanes. A passion project keeps you interested and gives you energy and meaning as you continue to work on it.
Believe me, you don’t know the benefits of frequent meditation unless you try it. At work, I would be near a meltdown every time Spectrum internet packages at my workplace went down. Until I started taking the time to meditate on my feelings and emotions. Meditation helps alleviate anxiety and depression while increasing focus. I have found even a 5-minute meditation session does wonders for feeling fresh and energized at work.