by Roberta Balagopal, Career Consultant

Overload is a common type of burnout. You work towards success until you reach a state of exhaustion. You cope by emotional venting or complaining.

Workplace overload – When does this happen?

– A colleague leaves and you have to take over their job responsibilities, perhaps permanently.

– A process is or becomes inefficient, and backlogs pile up. You feel like you are swimming against the tide all the time just to keep in the same place.

– Your job scope changes, to something you are less comfortable doing. You can’t keep up with the same speed as you had when you were working in your area of expertise.

– Long hours, like a lot of overtime or coming back on off days, and the company culture/boss seems to expect it.

– Too many meetings, especially when meetings are places for everyone to air their grievances but nothing really gets done. It takes up time during the day when you could be doing ‘real work’ and then you have to do overtime to catch up.

Sometimes, the overload is self-imposed but people don’t think that they ‘have a choice’. The lack of choice is partly driven by their inability to say no, particularly when it involves family.

Home life overload – When does it happen?

– Looking after a family member (which is a full time job in itself) while working out of the home.

– Looking after the needs of children will stress you out but when it is your own children, that stress comes with it pleasant benefits too. Looking after children is also term based as when they mature into adults, your role as a parent effectively stops or enters into a new phase.

– Looking after the needs of adults, possibly elderly parents presents a different challenge. There is no time limit for service other than the death of the parent, which can be several decades away.

– Looking after the needs of the family, including the needs of siblings and parents sometimes happens in situations when one or more parents fails to perform parental duties and the person is told to pitch in. If it happens to a person as a kid, they effectively become a parentified child. Unlike a regular parent whose term of service ends when a child grows up, the parentified child, now an adult, doesn’t stop their service. They may not even know how to stop.

That is extreme overload.

These are complicated issues, that will take some time to understand and address. If you’re experiencing overload, contact us.