Job burnout is a condition where a worker becomes physically and mentally exhausted due to stressful and/or demanding work conditions or situations. After a period of time the body essentially says ‘no more’ and becomes burned out.
Burnout is reversible, but it is not easy, it requires modifications in work habits and sometimes even a change of environment. There is no quick fix for job burnout, however, if a person is dedicated to fixing the problem and is willing to make the necessary changes, then burnout can be alleviated over the course of time.
There are several categories of workers who are at higher risk for job burnout. Here is a list of the top risk elements and attributes that can lead to job burnout:
Lack of Work and Life Balance: People who are all work and no play put themselves in the higher risk category. To avoid burnout it is essential to develop a strong work/life balance and do not let the work stress and demands take over.
Try to be a Super Hero: Sometimes people try to please everyone all of the time and make all kinds of promises. In the quest to meet all the commitments made, the individual ends up wearing him or herself out.
Work in Monotonous Conditions: Monotony is one of the ingredients in the recipe of work burnout. If the routine and job situation is too monotonous, it is a good idea to try and vary conditions wherever possible.
No Control over Work: Workers who are micromanaged and/or have no ability to control their work run a higher risk of experiencing job burnout. Many individuals thrive on having a level of autonomy.
Employed in a “Helping” Profession: Certain professions are at higher risk for burnout and the Mayo Clinic categorizes these risky jobs as “Helping Profession” jobs. Positions include those in health care, teaching, law enforcement and counseling.
People who find themselves experiencing signals such as being stressed, cynical, critical, irritable, de-motivated, sleep issues, frequent headaches, dreading work, low energy levels, lack of satisfaction, or turning to artificial stimulants and/or self-medicating to balance or eliminate the down points, this may mean the road to burnout is being paved.
Job burnout is a very serious condition and if you are feeling worn down and fit into one of the above categories you want to consider taking action to fix the problem before it hurts you. The risky conditions list highlights the “at risk” factors, however this doesn’t mean that if you don’t fit into one of the above categories you are risk-free; anyone can experience job burnout given the right circumstances.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.