What Causes Job Burnout?

Regardless of our job title, there is always more to do; more emails to reply to, more meetings to attend and more clients to attend to. In the previous article about burnout, we discussed what burnout actually is. In this article, we are going to tackle the causes. It may sound like a complex and impossible task but once you figure out what the source of your continued stress is, you are better equipped to manage those situations and potentially even prevent job burnout to begin with.

What Really Matters and What’s Just Winding You Up?

Sure enough, every office has their source of irritation and frustration. This exact daily mundane comedy of errors is exactly why The Office was a hit TV show. Few sitcoms manage to sum up office life so succinctly. The problem with these daily scenarios is that one has to put them into perspective. Is Carol from accounts genuinely trying to sabotage you or is she simply unable to stop gossiping? There are things which deserve our attention and those which don’t. Only once you have pushed aside the petty stuff can you figure out what it is that’s really depleting your energy and what actually needs to be addressed.

Why Are Those Things Stressing You Out?

So you’ve figured out that you don’t actually care if Sally from marketing is using your mug on the odd occasion, you begin to realise that it’s actually Brad’s (from business development) microaggressions are getting you down. That’s far more of an actual issue than a mug but when you are so bogged down you struggle to sort through things in such a logical manner. But deeper still, how are these situations affecting you collectively; when you add them all up, how do they make you feel?

How Does That Make You Feel?

For many people work is a source of validation and personal pride, which is exactly why we push so hard, get so stressed and ultimately burnout. When Brad’s microaggressions lead you to question your lack of support within your team, you’re actually getting somewhere. For the most part we tend to have similar needs and value systems, and when these are either rocked or eroded over time we need to guard ourselves against burnout.

Factors which are likely to contribute to burnout are:
• A poor job fit
• A mismatched in values
• A work-life imbalance
• A lack of support
• A lack of control over your work
• Dysfunctional dynamics
• Unclear or high expectations
• Lack of recognition or reward for good work
• Monotonous or unchallenging work
• A chaotic or high-pressure environment
• Big consequences for failure
• Poor leadership

How to Prevent Burnout

Now that you know what burnout is and what sort of feelings can contribute to it, it’s time to keep an eye on the warning signs. Ideally, we would want to prevent burnout altogether but sometimes it just sneaks up on you. One thing is for certain though you cannot keep going as you were. Psychologists have found that there a few things which will go a long way to helping you turn things around.

Banish Burnout by:
• Recognise the warning signs
• Reach out to the people you are close to, open up and confide in them
• Be more sociable with your colleagues, a shared joke will brighten your day
• Limit your contact with negative people who might drag you down
• Find the value in what you do, regardless of how mundane your job may be at times
• Look for balance in your life, spend time with family friends and on hobbies
• Take some time off; a day to rest does wonders
• Set boundaries at work, with your friends and with your family – you don’t have to say yes to everything
• Try to get some exercise in and eat a healthy balanced diet

If you’ve tried all of these things but you’re still feeling exhausted, don’t wait, speak to a doctor now. They may refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist; go with it. Take the help and you will find a way to get through. If your job just plain sucks though; definitely get in touch with us. Something better is around the corner!

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