Back To Career News

5 Signs You’re Burning Out

Burnout can impact just about anyone. But, people who are extra dedicated and committed to their jobs, or people working in particularly stressful and demanding positions, might be especially prone to it. If signs and symptoms of burnout go unaddressed, you could find yourself being forced to take a break from your job – whether you want to or not. So, let's take a look at a few common signs of burnout. Learning to recognize these signs, and slowing down accordingly, could help you save your career before it's too late.

Burnout can impact just about anyone. But, people who are extra dedicated and committed to their jobs, or people working in particularly stressful and demanding positions, might be especially prone to it. If signs and symptoms of burnout go unaddressed, you could find yourself being forced to take a break from your job — whether you want to or not. So, let’s take a look at a few common signs of burnout. Learning to recognize these signs, and slowing down accordingly, could help you save your career before it’s too late.

burnout
Image Credit: Amagill/Flickr

1. You love your job.

Maybe it seems counterintuitive that loving your job would make you prone to burnout, but that’s exactly the case. A recent report from Staples Advantage found that although 53 percent of workers felt overwhelmed at work, 86 percent still feel happy and motivated nonetheless. When we love what we do, we’re more prone to give it our all, investing our time, energy, and our hearts at every turn. This is wonderful, but when combined with other factors (like the ones listed below) it can be a recipe for disaster. Definitely go on loving your job though, just be on the lookout for other signs of burnout and remember to take care of yourself.

2. Look out for signs of physical and emotional exhaustion.

If you can’t sleep (or can’t stop sleeping), or if you are getting sick a lot, these could be signs that you are starting to burn out. It isn’t normal or healthy to regularly feel anxious, angry, and/or depressed. Listen to your emotions and your body. If one or both are screaming for a vacation, you might be wise to take one.

3. You have a ton to do and not enough time to do it.

According to the Staples Advantage Workplace Index report, 49 percent of folks say that having more time to complete tasks and decreasing their workload would reduce burnout. Being overworked isn’t the only cause of burnout, but it’s certainly the most obvious one. If you really feel as though you consistently don’t have enough time to complete all of your tasks, you might want to consider talking to your boss about changing things up a little. Otherwise, you might find yourself having a more dire conversation down the road.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

4. Your personal life is suffering.

Work-life balance isn’t just about the number of hours spent at one place or the other. If your evenings and weekends are consumed by merely recovering from work (and building up the strength to go back) then you aren’t striking a good balance, no matter how much time you spend at home. Your personal life should be complex and engaging, just like your professional world. It should challenge you, captivate you, and make you think. If you find you don’t have time or energy for friends and family, and if your hobbies and interests have all but disappeared, you might burn out not too far down the road.

5. You’re a police officer, teacher, or have another job with high burnout rates.

Some professions have higher rates of burnout and turnover than others. Teaching and law enforcement are notorious for inducing burnout, and that makes sense given the stress and depth of responsibility workers in these fields are asked to shoulder each day. Other folks like retail workers and restaurant workers deal with a lot of stress, and receive little appreciation to boot. If you work a job with high burnout rates, be mindful of the risk and take extra good care of yourself.

Tell Us What You Think

What are some other telltale signs of burnout? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


Leave a Reply

14 Comments on "5 Signs You’re Burning Out"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
JM
Guest

This is surely a wonderful Topic to discuss.

Great highlights.

But I also go through this experience, which I’m not sure if it would fit into this Topic.

There are times when you love your job too much, you want to give your life for it, sweat it out day-in day-out but find that your Employer does not reciprocate the same way. You are just taken for granted, as just another drop in the ocean. It hurts and actually burns you out not physically but mentally/psychologically .

Not sure if others have felt this.

Nancy
Guest
Just remember in the back of your head, that no matter how much you do and how much you think your bosses are satisfied with you, if walk out of work, one day and something happens to you that means that you have to be out of work for several months. You will be replaced and the business will continue just like you had never been there. So don’t think being this way, is going to save or keep your job. No, it doesn’t and it can ruin your health to a point that you won’t be able to work… Read more »
Kathi
Guest

I saw myself in all of your examples. I gave my heart and soul to my job, worked 120 hours in 2 weeks. But it still wasn’t enough, got FIRED!! Now what? Owner always said that we were all replaceable, guess she meant it!!

Jane
Guest

I am a bank teller and all of the above applies. I love my job, although I don’t earn what I feel I am worth. The responsibilities are very high, and considering what we do, I feel that we deserve a substantial pay increase. I love my customers and co workers. It’s the people who decide that we can operate sufficiently on the lowest level of staff imaginable and expect more, when we give it our all. I’m seriously considering a change. I am burned out. It’s not fair to me or my family to live this way anymore.

Mary
Guest
I recognize myself in nearly every one of those descriptions above. I didn’t particularly love my job, but I was dedicated to it and enjoyed working with the people. For the last year of my employment I found it hard to get to sleep then couldn’t hear my alarms (count ’em, I had 6 set up) so was occasionally late to work. Usually no more than a minute or two, but a few times didn’t wake up until after I was due to be at work. I tried everything I knew to correct that, but when my director got embarrassed… Read more »
Dark Star
Guest

1-4 pertains to me. Add feeling taken for granted, so they pay you less than the going rate for highly technical skills. They say they appreciate me, but they don’t put their money where their mouth is. Or in other words,… I’m under appreciated. Harder and harder to be enthused under those conditions. A job I love, is turning into more of a chore. that’s an attitude I don’t like having,…. and that’s a bad sign.

Itza
Guest

I recognize burnout when I find myself smiling/laughing less and taking everything so seriously that I am easily annoyed for things that normally would not upset me. When I start setting back my alarm clock, drag my feet to the office and count down the minutes to leave.

Lesa
Guest

When you start paying more attention to recruiters.

Milly
Guest

And your boss left the ratings and comments on your last review completely blank and you got a 1% raise – and he blew off the review/goals discussions – after you worked night and day to get your assignments complete and kept everyone happy with you.

Milly
Guest
Not being able to focus on work, spending more time trying to socialize because your job satisfaction is gone. Being on edge and not able to concentrate because you get continually interrupted by people who can’t figure out how to do their own work but who are cheaper (H1b visa holders) and replaced the competent but more expensive Americans. All the while knowing that ONE mis-step and you’re out the door next – and the ones laid off before you are still having a hard time getting jobs, and you just want to get the kids grown and our of… Read more »
CJ
Guest
#3 Co-Worker (exempt): Yea, boss, you’ve commented that I do a nice job which is reflected on my evaluations. I’d really like to expand my horizons both within my own position, and also show that i can do some higher level tasks as well. My challenge though is that I’m perpetually working 45-55 hrs/wk already just to get my regular duties done. Would like to talk to you about reducing my workload so that maybe some of this extra time that I already invest might be focused toward this end. Boss: You’re right. I’ve been pleased with the quality and… Read more »
Elizabeth
Guest

I have found in the past that the feeling of “dread” on the way to work and resisting the alarm clock that has been set for multiple wake up times in the morning are signs of burnout for me.

Lea
Guest
1 and 3 pertains to me. I love my job, but because I’m so efficient I have found that I am doing everything. We are a small office of 3 staff members. Two days out of the week we only have two. I assist homeless veterans with reintegrating into the job force, so we have to keep a lot of notes and such on them and I have come up with ways to make sure that I stay on top of what I do and some how it has turned into policing all of it because my boss is hardly… Read more »
Harold
Guest

If a business makes their employees work alot of 13 and 1 weeks could that have alot of negative impact their home and work lives? I say it would

wpDiscuz
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.