Career Burnout and 4 Strategies to Fix It

by Amy Anne

Career burnout? More like a smoldering mess. 

What causes work frustrations to leak beyond the 9-5 work day? Why are my job duties suddenly causing conflict with my coworker? Aren’t we supposed to work together? I have no idea why working together has gotten so difficult. Is it just me? Is there anyone else out there? What  happened to us!?

Career Burnout

I think about when I was in a better environment where my job duties didn’t anger my teammates and make life so hard. I know I have been part of helpful positive teams before, so what happened? 

I felt the care I took in working with others was not reciprocated by my peers, either by choice or by circumstance and felt a general languish when it came to work. This dread was encroaching into my personal life and dictating the way I was living. Am I bad at work now? Why am I so unhappy? I needed to look into it.

Symptoms of Career Burnout

I found myself getting panic attacks upon waking up, before meetings, before bed, and in the middle of the night. I was referred to a therapist to learn about how to handle the anxiety that was building up in response to my daily environment. I had therapy before and it helped me to identify the issues that were bringing my demons out by helping me categorize and analyze different parts of my life. 

I went into therapy with an open mind and we looked at my anxiety. We figured out pretty quickly that all my bad stress was coming from work (i.e., career burnout) , but I didn’t know what to do about it. I carried the stress of not having well-defined processes at work into the rest of my life and ultimately had a hard time with everything. I could feel myself going down in a burning crashing motion. 

Career Burnout: Actual picture of me at one point

Career Burnout Sucks

Career burnout seemed to be the reason, the cause of my pain, and current suffering. I found myself asking if I was in the right job, the right career, or if I have ever even made a correct decision once in my ENTIRE LIFE??? It was getting pretty dramatic to say the least.

There are so many symptoms that creep up into your work and daily life like:

  1. Becoming irritable or short tempered
  2. Experiencing low energy levels
  3. Being easily distracted
  4. Can’t sleep
  5. Or even physical symptoms like headache
  6. Stomach aches
  7. Digestive issues…
  8. OR ALL OF THESE if you’re lucky like I was.

There are so many things that can cause these issues and you may be experiencing multiple causes. You could be having weirdness at your job where you are unclear of what is expected of you, there could be bad workplace relationships, you could feel like you don’t have any control, or have no support, and finally, worst out of all of them is if your work-life scale tilts more toward the work side more than you’d like.

4 Ways to Heal Yourself from Career Burnout

There are some big things you can do to shift your mindset or to get ready to make a change to get back to yourself. 

  1. Evaluate the changes you can make. You can always make a change! There are options, you just need to evaluate and put yourself out there. A lot of times you can move laterally within your current organization or you can pick up your entire life and go.
  2. Ask for help. You can seek support, open up to friends, family, or use up your insurance and go see a therapist or counselor. There are ways to deal with your situation that you haven’t thought of – trust me. 

Here are ways that you can help yourself in your daily activities:

  1. Have fun, be active, and get some exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, getting 30 minutes of physical activity three to five times per week helped to improve depression and anxiety symptoms. Even getting 10-15 minutes per day is better than none!
  2. Sleep better. Try different ways to get better restful sleep and do something relaxing. Try taking a bath or shower before bedtime. I also like to use the melatonin gummy to help me get to sleep.

What Worked for Me

You’re not alone. According to the 2021 Microsoft Work Trend Index Report, of all the employees analyzed, “Fifty-four percent feel overworked,” and “Thirty-nine percent feel exhausted.” The things I did to start seeing positive results in my life allowed me to take control back.  

  • I saw a therapist
  • I started a vigorous exercise routine
  • Restructured my day to use my full lunch hour away from my computer
  • I also started a new job search

I made a deal with myself about coping until I found a better fit 😑

It's not all Bad!

Being in my current job still, I wanted to list the positive things from it: I was able to pay off my student loans, gain valuable experience for my resume, and it was the right fit for a long while.

By making small changes and planning for big changes, I have been able to keep myself away from falling into depression. I have struggled with depression in the past and it was the hardest fight of my life to get better. I never want to go there again – especially over a job! 

If you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms or just want to talk, please ask. Anyone. Everyone. You’d be surprised about how many people around you are going through the same thing or want to help you in any way they can. Don’t keep things to yourself.

What other symptoms have you experienced? 

What other ways have you healed from an experience like mine? 

Always Amy Anne Signature

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