Author: Benjamin Lee
Landing a new job is always an exciting prospect. You’ll feel as if you’ve found the job. Everyday feels like a new challenge and you look forward to getting in. It’s like you are a football athlete during the NFL preseason. You love your colleagues; your boss is a great guy and you’re excited about the new season.
However, also as it happens often in football, as time wears on and you’ll notice that the edges have begun to fray. Small things start to bother you and you now hate going in. From the long, punishing hours to gossipy colleagues, maybe working here wasn’t such a good choice after all. You feel tired all the time and you’re mentally exhausted.
This is known as the brownout phase, which is the prelude to full-on burnout. Burnout is usually caused by a combination of factors such as; stress, frustration and boredom. When an employee becomes burnt out, he/she loses motivation and becomes disengaged from the workplace.
The World Health Organization or WHO, have officially recognized burnout as a genuine medical condition brought on by chronic stress. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of burnout are crucial if you intend to continue working on the long-term.
So, before you burn yourself out, take a look at the signs and symptoms of burnout.
1. You feel tired all the time
Waking up for work becomes a real drag. Your body aches and you dread waking up every weekday morning. At the workplace, you’re always sleepy and the very act of working seems impossible.
Chronic fatigue is one of the major signs of burnout. If you’re constantly stressed out at the office, chances are you’ll never be able to get a good night’s sleep. On the long-term, you’ll find yourself being unable to “switch off” from work which only leads to burnout.
How to deal with it:
Your work can survive a few hours without you. Learn to leave work in the office and switch off on your downtime. In some industries, working to the point of exhaustion is seen as some kind of twisted badge of honor. This mentality however only serves to increase burnout and stress.
2. You dread going to work
If Sunday nights and Monday mornings cause you to break out in a cold sweat, it’s time for a change. While chances are none of us actually enjoy heading into work, actively dreading the next working day indicates a serious problem.
How to deal with it:
From an unreasonable boss to an unhealthy work environment, identifying the source of your unhappiness is crucial if you are to deal with burnout. In many situations, sitting down and talking it through with a colleague or superior is enough to take a huge burden off your shoulders.
On the other hand, if the situation in your workplace is untenable, consider calling it a day and working elsewhere. The physical and emotional toll caused by chronic levels of stress should never be underestimated.
3. You feel a sense of detachment and boredom
Perhaps you don’t feel as excited as you once were when you first started. Maybe, the long hours and crazy workload have taken a toll on you. Whatever it is, you treat each working day like a chore. All tasks are completed just for the sake of it. KPIs and reports no longer hold any meaning for you.
Career advancement no longer seems possible and you’ve now become disillusioned. However, you need the salary and can’t afford to move on to another job. If you can relate to any of these, chances are you’re in the early phases of burnout.
How to deal with it:
Whether you’re bored or feeling unchallenged, it’s best that you schedule a quick one-to-one session with your line manager. Explain that you’re feeling unchallenged and are looking to grow yourself professionally.
A good line manager will only be too glad to help you on the way. From new roles to taking part in additional projects, changing up your routine is a sure way to break you out of your funk. If you’re feeling overburdened, take some time off to rest and relax. The time away from work refreshes you and helps you gain new insight into your job.
Unfortunately, burnout is a natural part of employment. When left unchecked, it can have a detrimental effect on your career and health. However, with proper management, you’ll have no trouble recovering and coming back better than ever.