Job Burnout – How to spot it and take action !

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Discover if you’re at risk of job burnout – and what you can do when your job begins to affect your health and happiness.

Job burnout is a special type of job stress – a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing job burnout. However, some of these symptoms can also indicate certain other health conditions.

What causes job burnout?

  • Lack of control on decisions that affect your job – such as your schedule, assignments, workload or lack of the resources.
  • Unclear job expectations.
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics such as working with non-cooperative colleagues & boss.
  • Job requirements not matching your interest.
  • Consistent Job Monotony & Chaos at work.

What are the consequences of job burnout?
Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have significant consequences, including:

  • Excessive stress
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • A negative spillover into personal relationships or home life
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes, especially in women
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Vulnerability to illnesses

What’s the best way to handle job burnout?

  • Manage the stressors that contribute to job burnout – Once you’ve identified what’s fueling your feelings of job burnout, you can make a plan to address the issues.
  • Evaluate your options – Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Perhaps you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions.
  • Adjust your attitude – If you’ve become cynical at work, consider ways to improve your outlook. Rediscover enjoyable aspects of your work. Recognize coworkers for valuable contributions or a job well-done. Take short breaks throughout the day. Spend time away from work doing things you enjoy.
  • Seek support – Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope with job stress and feelings of burnout.
  • Assess your interests, skills and passions – An honest assessment can help you decide whether you should consider an alternative job, such as one that’s less demanding or one that better matches your interests or core values.
  • Get some exercise – Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Get some sleep – Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.
  • Keep an open mind as you consider the options – Don’t let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health.

The article is written by
Dr. Mrinmay Kumar Das (MD (Psychiatry), CCST)
who is Senior Consultant for Psychiatry at Jaypee Hospital, Sector 128, Noida

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