How To Avoid Getting Burned Out

Your job should be more than just a job. You should see your work as a career. Something you enjoy and are passionate about, not a chore. We all look forward to the weekend, vacations and time away from the office, but if you find yourself hating your job you need to dig in and determine if you are experiencing burnout or if it is time to make a career change.

Begin by reengaging at work in a different way. Approaching your job with a new mindset may be just what you need to recharge your excitement and avoid getting burned out!

Take A Vacation, In Fact Take All Of It

To recharge, take a vacation! A vacation can do wonders to change your professional perspective. I am amazed at the number of clients we coach who are burning the candle at both ends. Although they have ample vacation time they believe they are too busy to take it. Sound familiar?

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but your organization will be okay without you for a week or two. In fact, if you quit tomorrow they might lose a few steps, but the company would be just fine in short order. A single person does not make a company tick. So take a week off. Use all of your vacation time. Don’t let the end of the year come and go with unused vacation on the books! You’ll be glad you did.

Give Back

I am sure my advice to give back to your company sounds incredibly stupid because you are already pressed to your breaking point, but trust me, this works.

Sometimes we get so embroiled in our own situation at work that our team and peers become background noise. Unfortunately, this only further isolates you and makes you feel alone in your plight. Instead, engage with your team by finding a colleague to mentor.

Being a mentor for a younger professional in the office will help you immensely. Seeing your organization and career through the eyes of a young staffer allows you to appreciate how far you have come. Helping someone else broaden their perspective and grow as a professional is rewarding and will reenergize you about your profession.

Make Time For Yourself At The Office

One of the most difficult things to come to terms with as a busy professional is that your work never ends. It doesn’t matter if you lock yourself in your office for a week to get “caught up” you will never be successful in your quest. Why? Because your work will never end. There will always be a new fire burning, a new customer situation, a new employee issue, a new report, a new request, a new project…get my point? It never ends! Trying to chase yourself everyday only increases stress and leads to burn out.

Come to terms with the fact that when you walk out the door and come back tomorrow, your work will still be waiting for you. It is okay to take a break. Go out for a long lunch with a friend. Hit the gym or go running on your lunch break. Leave early and go do something you enjoy. Just stop pushing yourself so hard.

Avoid Burnout Through Delegation

A huge issue we continually address with our career coaching clients is delegation. Similar to the other topics I have covered here, delegation is critical to long-term career happiness. You are not a one man band nor are you the only person in the office with the skills, intelligence and ability to do complicated work or projects.

Whether you are currently managing a team or are an individual contributor, by not delegating, you are exhibiting micromanagement behavior to your team and superiors. You send the message that you believe your team is incapable and incompetent. You are telegraphing that you are unable to make decisions and prioritize your work.

Begin delegating today. Start by pushing a few tasks off your plate. Then try a few more. The more you delegate the more you will see how important delegation is. You will free your mind to focus on more pressing matters while allowing a colleague to learn and grow as a professional. Delegation is a win for everyone!

Do Not Become A Slug

After all of my advice to unplug, recharge and reenergize, my final piece of advice will seem completely contradictory, so here it goes…do not become a slug at the office! Taking time away, and finding different ways to use your time at the office is critical for long-term career happiness. If you have your foot on the gas at all time you will burn out, hate your job and will be miserable to live with. But, that doesn’t mean you should become less effective as a professional.

Balance your professional life and your personal life. Do not allow one to encroach too far into the others space. As a professional you need to be present, engaged and ready for a challenge, however, that does not mean you should be “on” all of the time. There is a fine line between becoming unreliable as a team member and becoming burned out at the office.
Be mindful to not abuse your flex schedule or your team’s efforts to pitch in and take more work off your plate. But do not lose sight of your needs. Make every effort to balance both and you will likely find your work more rewarding. Try it for a few months, if your attitude doesn’t change it is time for a career change!

Need Guidance On Getting Your Work Life Balance Back

When a career you once loved becomes something you hate, you need to step back and determine why. An Industry Certified Career Coach with experience in your field can help you unravel your situation. Working with a ReResumeMe Career Coach, you will determine what is causing your career stress and unhappiness and learn how to fix it. Your Career Coach can also write your resume and provide job hunt assistance if you determine it is time to make a change! Take your career back and find happiness today!

About The Author

Recognized nationally as an industry leader in resume writing and career coaching, Jeanna McGinnis, CPRW is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe and AVP, Career Strategy at A Players Executive Search Group Inc. Leveraging more than 15 years of experience directing hiring practices for multiple Fortune 100 companies, Jeanna and her team are refreshing how busy professionals brand, market and drive their careers. Please connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn or the ReResumeMe team on Twitter to simplify your career with updates on careers, job search and resume best practices!