Preventing Job Burnout

Remember your excitement when you first landed the job that you loved so much? You were motivated to show up early, stay late, do whatever was necessary to meet deadlines and turn out the best products. Leap forward a few years. Suddenly you find yourself hitting the snooze button four times each morning, struggling to get to work on time, watching the clock for the final hour of every day, and striving to turn out any product- just to get it out of your outbox and through the client’s door. What happened? You are still the same person; the dream job is still the same job. 

Chances are good that you are experiencing job burnout, a condition that many people experience when job stress builds over time. Sometimes bosses’ expectations change slightly, or the workload grows a bit. Sometimes a change in another area of your life creates stress that results in sleep deprivation or feelings of overwhelm that can affect job performance and satisfaction. And when we are overwhelmed or stressed out at work, it is all too easy to try to find relief in the wrong places- like too much alcohol, medications, or other drugs. 

Fortunately, it’s easy to get back on track and find the passion that you once had for your job. Some suggestions include: 

– Recognize the contribution that you make to the company and its mission. 

– Take back control of those factors that you have a choice about, like focusing on tasks that emphasize your strengths and delegating those that don’t, choosing to remain positive each day, expressing creativity in problem-solving situations. 

– Engage in good self-care and stress relieving activities, such as regular exercise and meditation. 

– Keep regular hours and set aside time away from work and all thoughts of work to rejuvenate your spirit and get some rest. 

If these strategies fail, then it may be time for a job change or a new career. Be honest with yourself and your boss about your feelings and brainstorm with them some possible solutions. They may be aware of opportunities within the company that will further challenge you or be a better match for your strengths, a job that you can grow into for many years to come. 

Whatever strategies you use, always evaluate them for both effectiveness AND good health. While a stiff drink after work may provide a temporary fix for too much stress, it could prove to be very costly in the long run! 


For a daily dose of encouragement and meditations for stress relief, check out our book Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You – For Good!