20 Warning Signs You're Burnt Out at Work

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By Steven Benna

When you think of job burnout, the state of chronic stress that leads to exhaustion, you probably think of someone in the mid-to-late stage of their career.

This isn't typically the case, however, according to burnout specialist Ben Fanning.

"With the demands of the global economy, conference calls with coworkers around the globe, and the endless stream of emails, it's even more likely you'll hit job burnout early on in your career," Fanning says.

The good news is there are some clear-cut warning signs you're getting burnt out, and by taking note of them, "you can either avoid burnout entirely or reignite your career," Fanning says.

He compiled the following list of common habits of workers who are suffering from job burnout.1. Setting your alarm too early to use the snooze button.
The signs of job burnout can start first thing in the morning. For example, if you're so tired that you hit "snooze" over and over and then feel frantic and late when you wake up.

2. Being depleted after work.
Consistently lacking the energy after work to do regular things like cook, go to the gym, or spend time with your family is not a good sign.

3. Inconsistent sleep patterns.
Oftentimes, people that are over-stressed at work will lose sleep over something they they did (or didn't do) at work, Fanning says.

4. Feeling liberated after a Friday at work.
You know you're really stressed when you truly feel like you've been freed when the weekend rolls around.

5. Explaining your job with "fine."
An obvious sign of burnout comes when family and friends ask you about your job, and whether it's new or you've been there for a while, you simply respond with one-word responses like "fine."

6. Constantly being asked about your feelings.
Do your coworkers often approach you because they're worried that you're struggling or down on yourself? This is a signal that others are picking up on your misery.

7. Not spending time with coworkers.
Burnt out employees tend to shy away from company-wide lunch events or happy hours because they've lost interest in building their network, Fanning says.

8. Living like a vampire.
Arriving before dawn and leaving well into the evening is stressful on its own. Being forced to work these hours can make the problem even worse.

9. Dreading every Monday.
Similarly to only looking forward to Friday night, absolutely dreading Mondays signals you're burnt out at your current job.

10. Fantasizing about quitting.
Moving to a new job for a higher salary or better hours is one thing, but fantasizing about simply quitting is on the other end of the spectrum.

11. Not wanting to explain your job to people.
"What do you do for a living?" is a common question at cocktail parties, but it likely becomes annoying to someone who is sick of their job.

12. Disregarding how you treat coworkers or customers.
If you're planning to quit or you're just sick of dealing with the same people every day, it may be reflected by how you treat your coworkers.

13. Forgetting your last accomplishment at work.
Not remembering the last time you felt satisfied or accomplished at work can signify the development of job burnout.

14. Constantly feeling overwhelmed.
Stress at work is inevitable, but every moment shouldn't be stressful. There are simple methods that can help.

15. Rarely feeling like you're progressing.
A lack of progress or feeling like you're stuck is likely a sign that it's time for a new job — or at least a vacation.

16. Being cynical.
Once you lose interest in the company and stop caring about helping it, you can become a liability.

17. Frequently losing your temper.
Stress can lead to temper tantrums, when "it feels good just to let it erupt on whoever's around," Fanning says.

18. Over-complaining to your partner.
There's no doubting that venting can help, but your problems at work shouldn't consistently become the problems of your significant other or your close friends.

19. Dreading a new job search.
Even if you know it's time for a new job, if you're over-stressed there's a chance you won't even take the time to look, Fanning says.

20. Noticing coworkers are hesitant around you.
If you notice that your coworkers are "walking on eggshells around you because they don't know what to expect," that's a clear sign that you're having a tough time.
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