3 Easy Ways to Avoid a Professional Burn-Out

No matter what your career path looks like, chances are you’ve found yourself exhausted, wanting desperately to throw in the towel. Perhaps you’ve started a new role and are feeling unprepared about your daily expectations. Or you’re asked to take on an assignment that you’re not fully trained to do. The stressors of any position can sometimes feel overwhelming, and no more how high up you are in the company, some days all you want to do is take an extended lunch, put on your sweatpants, and give up.

Before you begin writing your concession speech for your current position, take a step back and think about the steps you have taken to get where you are. The road to get to your current role likely wasn’t easy, and your employer took a chance on you and saw a reason to offer you a position above all other candidates. If that’s not enough to keep you motivated to push through the tough days, here’s a list of simple tips for staying afloat in rough seas.

1. Take Time to Unwind

Depending on your position, this may seem easier said than done. If you’re juggling a dozen assignments and overseeing an entire department, your motto may be “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Now; however, is the time to change that mentality. Everyone needs a break from time to time. Whether you give yourself 15 minutes in the morning to scroll through your newsfeed on Facebook or set aside 20 minutes after you’ve put your kids to bed to simply draw a bath and sit in silence, what matters is giving yourself time to take a few deep breaths and sigh as loudly as you want in order to keep your composure in the workforce.

2. Keep Your Personal Problems Away from Your Desk

Some employees swear by the distinction between work and home. Their files and laptops remain on their desk at the end of each day, no matter how late they’re required to stay. The same can be said for keeping your personal issues and frustrations out of the office. Your coworkers likely don’t want to hear about how your child refused to go to sleep last night, or how your car stalled on the way to work and now you have to spend your lunch break at the auto shop.

Additionally, no matter how difficult it may be, keep your work-related frustrations to yourself. Don’t spend billable hours of your day discussing how your coworker forgot to send the memo until after the meeting had started, or how your supervisor strolled into work 20 minutes late and is leaving early for the third time this week. These complaints can easily be perceived as trash talk, and there’s no quicker way to be shown the door than to conjure up drama in the workplace.

3. Know Your Worth

One of the easiest ways to feel inadequate in any position is to offer yourself the belief that you are incapable of performing the duties you’ve been given. Far too many times, men and women alike give up before they’ve given their all because they simply feel that cannot meet the expectations of their superiors. If you’re unsure of your job requirements, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If you’re stuck on an assignment or feel yourself falling behind on a deadline, speak up. Don’t automatically write yourself off as a loss. Almost everyone at some point in their career has felt the exact same as you and more times than not, they have risen to the occasion. Be confident and remind yourself of the attributes that got you to where you are today.

Time for Departure

Of course, there is always the chance that your professional burnout is indicative of something more serious. If your current role is severely diminishing time with your kids, or if you’re punching the clock 50 hours a week and feel no satisfaction, your exhaustion could mean you’re in the wrong role. This is something few folks talk about, because we’re conditioned to believe if something doesn’t work out, we have failed. Only you can decide your happiness, and many moms and dads leave positions for reasons than other competitive offers. We can be happy with less responsibility if that is the balance we crave.

So, what works for you? Have you hit your professional threshold? How did you overcome the pressure? Sound off in the comments below!