Posted by Robert Half on 02 February 2015
If you’re heading for career burnout, here are some strategies to help you renew your enthusiasm and get your working life back on track.
1. Evaluate your role
If your company has experienced redundancies or has a hiring freeze in place, you might be shouldering more responsibility now than you did in the past. Although taking on new assignments can be a good career move, doing so can lead to burnout if the scope of your responsibility has expanded beyond what you can reasonably manage. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t try to shrug it off. Instead, call a meeting with your manager and be honest about your situation. Work with them to prioritise projects or look for ways to delegate some of your tasks.
2. Look at your schedule
The way you manage your time can also affect your ability to rebound from job exhaustion. If you’re overbooked or spending too much energy on noncritical initiatives, you may be creating additional pressure at work. Try keeping a simple record of your activities for a week and divide the findings into categories such as ‘researching’, ‘reviewing proposals’ and ‘responding to emails’. Then look are whether you’re devoting adequate time to the highest priorities.
3. Identify your stressors
Understanding why you are feeling deflated can help you move in a more positive direction. Think about what has contributed to your burnout: is it the feeling that projects are out of your control? Have your actions made the problem worse? For example, you may have set an overly ambitious timeline for completing an assignment, creating unnecessary stress and obstacles to its success. Even small changes to your routine, such as seeking assistance from your manager when you have too many projects on your plate, can help brighten your outlook.
4. Ask for help
A common symptom of burnout is a feeling of isolation. You may think you’re the only one who can review a particular document because you understand the project best, but someone else might bring in a fresh perspective – not to mention relieve some of the burden. It’s acceptable to let others know that you’re facing difficulties and request their assistance. Keep in mind that you would not be perceived as someone who complains a lot if you objectively outline the specific issues you are trying to address and ask for guidance.
5. Take a break
Allow time to periodically recharge. Even if you’re working long hours, you can counteract stress and maximise your performance on the job by taking five or ten minute breaks throughout the day. Stand up and stretch or go for a short walk. Instead of eating lunch at your desk, try the work kitchen or step outside the office for some fresh air. Use your annual leave as well. Getting away from the office – even for a day or two – can refresh your perspective and give you renewed focus and energy.
A certain amount of stress is inherent in any job, but when the pressure gets out of hand, it’s important to act quickly. Burnout can negatively affect not only your overall job performance, but also your personal life. By taking measures to reduce the amount of stress you’re facing, you can regain your motivation.