Sometimes when we are very tired from our jobs we say we are burned out, but as part of Corporate Detox week are really looking at the condition of job burnout or chronic career fatigue. According to the Mayo Clinic, job burnout is a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work. It is caused by:
- Lack of control. An inability to influence decisions that affect your job — such as your schedule, assignments or workload — could lead to job burnout. So could a lack of necessary resources to do your work.
- Unclear job expectations. If you’re unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your supervisor or others expect from you, you’re not likely to feel comfortable at work.
- Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work. These and related situations can contribute to job stress.
- Mismatch in values. If your values differ from the way your employer does business or handles grievances, the mismatch may eventually take a toll.
- Poor job fit. If your job doesn’t fit your interests and skills, it may become increasingly stressful over time.
- Extremes of activity. When a job is always monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused — which can lead to fatigue and job burnout.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the people most at risk for job burnout identify so strongly with work that their work/life balance is way off, they try to be everything to everyone, they feel that they have no control over work and that their job is totally monotonous.
But there are ways to deal with this condition:
- Try to manage and identify the most stressful things in your career. Once you’ve identified what’s fueling your feelings of job burnout, you can make a plan to address the issues.
- Evaluate your options. Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Perhaps you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions.
- Make an attitude change. If you’ve become cynical at work, try to improve your outlook. Try to remember what you used to enjoy about work. Recognize co-workers for valuable contributions or a job well done. When you aren’t working do things you enjoy. Exercise!
- Seek support. Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends, loved ones or others, support and collaboration may help you cope with job stress and feelings of burnout. If you have access to an employee assistance program (EAP), take advantage of the available services.
But look at the gallery below to see if you have any of the symptoms of chronic career fatigue.
Photo: Sergey Mironov/Shutterstock.com