6 Ways to Beat Burnout

It can be a real challenge to wake up every morning and head to a job that is unsatisfying, where you feel less than appreciated, and are either overworked, underpaid, or both. Sure, many of us suffered these same feelings at our high school job, but now we're adults, right?! Isn't this the time we're supposed to be doing meaningful work we actually like?

Sit back and remember the rosy-hazed days when you first started at your current job: you were excited for something new, you had a better paycheck than your last position, you were a new voice in the crowd and people listened, and you went home feeling refreshed and revitalized. If you long for those days again, it isn't too late to save yourself from the downward spiral of burnout.


With employee engagement considered the biggest factor in job satisfaction, it's no surprise that companies who don't have a handle on it are seeing high turnover rates. Burnout is real, but it can either be seen as a hurdle or an exit sign. It's not always easy to navigate, so we're here to help.

1) Don't work overtime.

Unless you have a job where overtime is paid, don't spend any more time than you must in a place that's draining you of all motivation. If "everybody works more than 40 hours," too bad. Tell your boss you need to get a fresh outlook on things and that you hope cutting work out when it isn't necessary will help you stay focused when you're in the office.

2) Do some serious reflection.

Put some thought into what exactly has changed to make you feel burned out. Is it a problem with your boss's management style, or something that is so engrained in the company that it's unlikely to change? Or is it something a little more fixable, like a too-heavy workload, too many meetings, or catching up a new employee?

3) Talk to others.

Don't accelerate a toxic work environment by constantly airing grievances, but sniff around a little and see if maybe you aren't alone. Hearing it from others can validate your concerns and also help all of you collectively address management.

4) Be honest about all those meetings.

If you boil it down, there are very often two main types of employees: managers who scatter meetings, phone calls, administrative tasks and directives throughout their day, and creatives who require large chunks of uninterrupted time. When these two styles overlap, there is a huge disconnect, with the manager's plan usually trumping that of their team. Be honest with your supervisor – tell them that meetings put a block in the middle of your creative thinking, or that you often feel like a meeting could have been covered in an email. There's a good chance a manager just doesn't understand how detrimental a meeting can be to your creative process, so tell them!

5) Ask for a raise.

What's better, silently resenting your company for not (monetarily) appreciating you, OR asking for a raise and being pleasantly surprised? If they can't accommodate your salary increase, ask for more days off. A company will (or should) be interested in retaining employees above all else, so there may be some wiggle room in your current benefits.

6) Be clear about your goals at the company.

It's easy to assume your manager knows you plan to climb the ladder, but be crystal clear. If you have goals at the company that are known, management can better help you get there, and if you're left unsatisfied than at least feel good about the fact that you fought for yourself.

Don't get discouraged! Burnout happens to almost everyone, and with the right tools, you can better advocate for your professional self and thrive in an environment that works for you.

Posted: 4/2/2018 10:09:12 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments