Working hard and always going the extra mile can get you noticed, but there’s a danger in working as hard all the time: Career burnout.
There’s a point at which even the most ambitious professional starts to lose energy. Ignoring this tipping point isn’t just bad for your career, it can also be bad for your mental health.
Below are warning signs that you are approaching career burnout.
You feel like you’re ‘always on’.
Lofty aspirations are great, but if they’re not tempered by some relaxation, they can be unhealthy. It can be difficult to unplug from work, but mental breaks are crucial if you are to avoid ambition-crushing burnout.
Even though you may not be expected to check email at home, you may be spending your free time thinking about work projects or how to confront that difficult co-worker. Over time, this constant rumination can make you feel overwhelmed and vulnerable to burnout.
You always feel stressed.
Surveys routinely find that work stress is the leading source of stress for Americans. When you’re stressed out over a long timeframe, there can be serious negative health impacts. Despite what our culture tells us, it’s not good to regularly go through bouts of insomnia, anxiety, or depression. These and other signals of persistent stress are signs you need slow down or consequences will get worse.
You don’t feel like yourself.
Persistent work stress can accumulate over time, typically leading to unpleasant thoughts and emotions. You might start to feel disconnected from those around you, or, you may lash out at the drop of a hat. For some people, stress manifests physically; such as headaches, backaches, or stomach pain. These are indications of burnout and ought to be given serious attention.
You are always in a rush.
Rushing from place to place and job to job is another indication that burnout is right around the corner. Remember, being busy and being productive aren’t the same thing.
In fact, the most successful people make it a point to avoid rushing around. The key is to focus on doing things that are important, not those that simply feel urgent. For instance, some people may feel the urgent need to clean up their area before the boss walks over, but that’s probably not as important as getting a production schedule that allows you to plan your week.
You are worried about everything being perfect.
Failure is vital to long-term career success. And yet, many employees feel an enormous amount of stress to be flawless. While expectations of perfection can encourage a meticulous attitude, perfectionism normally holds people back. Primarily, it makes it harder to enjoy your job. Over time, the effort to be perfect becomes draining, ultimately resulting in career burnout.
At Focus of Georgia, we help people avoid career burnout by getting them into a better job. If you think your career could use a change of scenery, please contact us today!