Who's at risk of job burnout?
You may be more likely to experience job burnout if:
- You identify so strongly with work that you lack a reasonable balance between your work life and your personal life
- You try to be everything to everyone
- You work in a helping profession, such as health care, counseling or teaching
- You feel you have little or no control over your work
- Your job is monotonous
What are the consequences of job burnout?
Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have significant consequences, including:
- Excessive stress
- A negative spillover into personal relationships or home life
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes, especially in women
- Vulnerability to illnesses
Remember, if you think you may be experiencing job burnout, don't ignore your symptoms. Consult your doctor or a mental health provider to identify or rule out any underlying health conditions.
What's the best way to handle job burnout?
If you're concerned about job burnout, take action. To get started:
- Manage the stressors that contribute to job burnout. Once you've identified what's fueling your feelings of job burnout, you can make a plan to address the issues.
- Evaluate your options. Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Perhaps you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Is job sharing an option? What about telecommuting or flexing your time? Would it help to establish a mentoring relationship? What are the options for continuing education or professional development?
- Adjust your attitude. If you've become cynical at work, consider ways to improve your outlook. Rediscover enjoyable aspects of your work. Recognize co-workers for valuable contributions or a job well done. Take short breaks throughout the day. Spend time away from work doing things you enjoy.
- Seek support. Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends, loved ones or others, support and collaboration may help you cope with job stress and feelings of burnout. If you have access to an employee assistance program (EAP), take advantage of the available services.
- Assess your interests, skills and passions. An honest assessment can help you decide whether you should consider an alternative job, such as one that's less demanding or one that better matches your interests or core values.
- Get some exercise. Regular physical activity, like walking or biking, can help you to better deal with stress. It can also help get your mind off work and focus on something else.
The bottom line? Keep an open mind as you consider the options. Don't let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health.
Dec. 08, 2012
See more In-depth
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