Thursday, May 14, 2009

Job Burnout, Who's At Risk and What Are the Symptoms?

Ohio Health Online provide a simple and practical article titled, "Job Burnout, Understanding Symptoms and Taking Action."

The article notes you may be more prone to experience job burnout and at risk  if:

  • You identify so strongly with work that you lack a reasonable balance between work and your personal life

  • You try to be everything to everyone

  • Your job is monotonous

  • You feel you have little or no control over your work

  • You work in a helping profession, such as health care, counseling, teaching or law enforcement

I want to comment on the first point they mention, identifying so strongly with work.  On our website, we mention the type of clients we work with as being, "highly committed decision-makers with major responsibilities, high expectations and demanding workloads."

"Highly committed" ... men and women who are invested in the organizations they serve and the objectives they are seeking to achieve can become off-balance in taking care of themselves. They can have the temptation to 'sacrifice themselves on the altar of work'. It's easy to miss the point of taking care of your greatest asset ... yourself.

OHO goes on to suggest you ask yourself the following questions that may indicate job burnout signs or symptoms.

  • Do you find yourself being more cynical, critical and sarcastic at work?

  • Have you lost the ability to experience joy?

  • Do you drag yourself into work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?

  • Have you become more irritable and less patient with co-workers, customers or clients?

  • Do you feel that you face insurmountable barriers at work?

  • Do you feel that you lack the energy to be consistently productive?

  • Do you no longer feel satisfaction from your achievements?

  • Do you have a hard time laughing at yourself?

  • Are you tired of your co-workers asking if you're OK?

  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?

  • Are you self-medicating — 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, neck pain or lower back pain?

Good questions. Their first line of attack if you answer yes to many of these questions ... Talk to your supervisor or mentor, or see your doctor or a mental health provider.

Good advice. Rule out medical causes first. Talk with someone about your feelings. Seek professional assistance.

I recommend you read the full article. It provides a good starting point.

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