What is a Job Burn-Out and Who is at Risk?

Job burnout is a particular type of stress that creates a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, combined with fears over your ability and value in the workplace. It’s become something of a phenomenon over the past few years, with so many people making huge lifestyle sacrifices in order to get ahead in their careers. But who is at risk? Pay close attention to how you act at work – are you cynical or critical? Do you have to drag yourself into work in the morning, having difficulties once you’re there to even get started? Are you using food and drink, or even drugs to help you feel better about your situation? Do you lack energy and satisfaction from your job? If you’ve answered yes to some or all of these questions, you could be suffering from a job burnout. A job burnout causes you to become disillusioned and unhappy, as well as affecting your productivity and your lifestyle. If you feel you could be at risk, speak to your GP straight away to see if they can help you treat the condition. Checking with your GP is important as some of the symptoms could be related to another problem, such as depression or thyroid disorder.


A job burnout can result from a variety of factors, such as a lack of control within your job that mean your schedule or workload has changed dramatically, or being unclear about your expectations and then feeling worred and anxious all the time. Your workplace may have a dysfunctional dynamic which puts pressure on you, or you may simply be a poor fit for your ob and it’s left you stressed. If your job requires constant energy to remain focused, either through it being chaotic or monotonous, then you may find that you end up fatigued and burned out. For many people, the lack of balance in their work and social life leads to stress and unhappiness, and this can result in a job burnout over time. If you already feel that you’re tired all of the time, if you’re trying to be everything to everyone or if your job is monotonous, then you may be more likely to experience a job burnout.  The consequences are far more than simply being a bit tired though. You could be increasing your risk of fatigue, excessive stress, depression, insomnia, anxiety, stroke, obesity and even heart disease. Don’t ignore your symptoms if you are struggling with this issue, as it could develop into something far worse than just stress if left for too long.

If you want to tackle the problem, the best way is to identify what it is about your job that is making you feel this way – is it the hours, the workload, the people? Look at what your options are and see whether there are possibilities of you being moved to a different department, or perhaps a role within your team that’s better suited to your skill-set.  Adjust your attitude and realise the plus points of your job – perhaps your team is nice or it’s close to work, so you avoid the dreaded commute. Try to do things in your social life that will help with the stress, such as getting plenty of exercise to calm your mood and boost the endorphins for a calmer outlook to work. You should also seek support where possible, in the form of friends, family or co-workers. If you’re still struggling, a counsellor may be of use to you in helping you deal with the stress and work through your issues about your job.

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