By Gina Belli
Burnout can impact just about anyone. But, people who are extra dedicated and committed to their jobs, or people working in particularly stressful and demanding positions, might be especially prone to it. If signs and symptoms of burnout go unaddressed, you could find yourself being forced to take a break from your job – whether you want to or not. So, let's take a look at a few common signs of burnout. Learning to recognize these signs, and slowing down accordingly, could help you save your career before it's too late.
1. You love your job.
Maybe it seems counterintuitive that loving your job would make you prone to burnout, but that's exactly the case. A recent report from Staples Advantage found that although 53 percent of workers felt overwhelmed at work, 86 percent still feel happy and motivated nonetheless. When we love what we do, we're more prone to give it our all, investing our time, energy, and our hearts at every turn. This is wonderful, but when combined with other factors (like the ones listed below) it can be a recipe for disaster. Definitely go on loving your job though, just be on the lookout for other signs of burnout and remember to take care of yourself.
2. Look out for signs of physical and emotional exhaustion.
If you can't sleep (or can't stop sleeping), or if you are getting sick a lot, these could be signs that you are starting to burn out. It isn't normal or healthy to regularly feel anxious, angry, and/or depressed. Listen to your emotions and your body. If one or both are screaming for a vacation, you might be wise to take one.
3. You have a ton to do and not enough time to do it.
According to the Staples Advantage Workplace Indexreport, 49 percent of folks say that having more time to complete tasks and decreasing their workload would reduce burnout. Being overworked isn't the only cause of burnout, but it's certainly the most obvious one. If you really feel as though you consistently don't have enough time to complete all of your tasks, you might want to consider talking to your boss about changing things up a little. Otherwise, you might find yourself having a more dire conversation down the road.
4. Your personal life is suffering.
Work-life balance isn't just about the number of hours spent at one place or the other. If your evenings and weekends are consumed by merely recovering from work (and building up the strength to go back) then you aren't striking a good balance, no matter how much time you spend at home. Your personal life should be complex and engaging, just like your professional world. It should challenge you, captivate you, and make you think. If you find you don't have time or energy for friends and family, and if your hobbies and interests have all but disappeared, you might burn out not too far down the road.
5. You're a police officer, teacher, or have another job with high burnout rates.
Some professions have higher rates of burnout and turnover than others. Teaching and law enforcement are notorious for inducing burnout, and that makes sense given the stress and depth of responsibility workers in these fields are asked to shoulder each day. Other folks like retail workers and restaurant workers deal with a lot of stress, and receive little appreciation to boot. If you work a job with high burnout rates, be mindful of the risk and take extra good care of yourself.