It can come to you as a sudden realisation that you no longer enjoy your work or business, can’t it? You realise that the job you once loved, no longer stimulates you. Or that you now dread Monday morning and can’t wait for Friday to arrive, when you feel freer, lighter and it’s easier to smile! Does this mean that you’re suffering from career burnout or just that you’re going through a sticky period?
Could you be experiencing career burnout?
Asking yourself the following questions will help you really identify if you have career burnout:
- Have you become cynical or critical at work?
- Have you become irritable or impatient with colleagues, customers or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be productive? Perhaps struggling to focus in the morning or maybe wasting time during the day?
- Do you no longer get satisfaction from your work-based achievements?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your job or the company you work for?
- Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel anything at all?
- Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?
If you have these symptoms you may be suffering from career burnout. However, the realisation may not be such a bad thing. It can be a real wake-up call, that life is passing you by and that something needs to change. You’ve got the chance of a second bite of the cherry. The question is what are you going to do about it?
Figuring out what you want to do next can be daunting. Yet you have the answers inside you and it doesn’t have to be more of the same. One of the most important things to realise is that career happiness and success comes from knowing yourself well and then making good decisions about what sort of roles and environments will suit you best.
Here are 3 exercise if you think you might be suffering from career burnout
A good way to do this is to take a piece of paper and draw a circle on it. Then divide the circle into 6 segments in each segment write down your skills, passions, character, motivators, values and experience. What drives you? What do you look for inside and outside of work? This information is core to who you and how you operate and you need to make sure that any roles and organisations fit.
Some key questions to ask yourself is:
- What problems do I want to solve?
- What do I really care about?
- What am I naturally good at?
- What do I love doing?
- What do I always gravitate towards?
- What are the activities that I cannot stop yourself from doing both at work and in life?
- What would I do for free if I could afford to?
Joining a club, volunteering and trying different hobbies can all help you to find out more about your passions. Then you can work out what else you need to learn to transfer it to the workplace.
It can also be useful to write a list of how you see work and your life now and in five year’s time. What is it about? Is it just about the income? Is it about connection and being with others during the day or maybe it is about autonomy? Factor in that the world of work is changing, more and more we are seeing people leave full-time permanent roles. Many decide to work part-time and set up their own business on the side. Some individuals decide to freelance. The important thing to remember is that we have more and more options available to us.
Often career burnout can be the jolt we needed to embrace the challenge of getting out of our comfort zone and to adapt to the new landscape of work.