What is burnout?

Burnout is fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. Research from a 2014 study suggests at least three different subtypes of burnout. Each type relates to different coping strategies being used to balance stress:

  • Overload – you work towards success till exhaustion. You cope by emotional venting or complaining.
  • Boredom – you lack personal development. You cope by avoiding or distancing yourself from work.
  • Worn-out – you want to achieve a goal but lack sufficient motivation. You cope by giving up in the face of stress.

How can I tell if I have burnout?

“I’m getting very frustrated and I feel angry all the time. I feel I need a career switch. Who do I see and how do they help?”

Getting frustrated is a common occurrence but when anger sets in, you start to experience symptoms of burnout. Change can bring about relief provided you steer yourself along the lines of your likes and not your dislikes. A career counsellor lends their expertise to help individuals weather the change.

“I’ve noticed a change in my behaviour that I can’t explain. Also, I seem to be doing this more often. Why is this happening?”

These are some of the behavioural signs of increasing burnout. The behaviour is your mind’s attempt to show you that you have not managed your stress and your system is headed for a crash. A career counsellor helps you learn how to identify and manage your primary and secondary stress reactions, so that in the face of stressors, you manage better.
For more information, see our video on burnout.