Burnout. Is. Everywhere.
Why? We are tired. Bored. Overwhelmed. Because we aren’t doing at work that don’t give us energy. Because at work, we are asked to care about things that we don’t care about. Work like that feels sticky. Its like quicksand - every step feels impossibly heavy.
There are many reasons why people are motivated to care about their organization’s problems, and inspired to meet organizational objectives, but what it comes down to is alignment. When clients come to me because they feel burnt out, 99% of the time, it's because their personal goals, values, and motivations don’t line up to their job, or their company culture. When you're not aligned there is no 'flow' and everything feels like work.
The first step in finding alignment is understanding what matters most to you - and that includes being clear with yourself about your values, the work culture that feels like a fit and is naturally inspiring to you, and how you feel when you're able to put your strengths to work. One of the questions I ask my clients is around who they want to be when they are 'at work'? What would be the words that they would want to use to describe themselves? For example, are they confident, calm, engaged, free, energized, competent? Deep diving into their ideal state helps to create a goal to work back from.
If you are living in alignment with your purpose and aligned with your values in a culture that ‘gets you’, it doesn’t feel like work. At least not the heavy kind of work. It gives you energy – makes you curious to learn, grow, do….more.
Burnout is avoidable - and possible to manage. Here are some tips to avoid burnout that are within your control:
1. Know what you need and communicate it. Pay attention to the way your body responds to certain environments and tasks. What gives you energy? What makes you feel heavy? Challenge yourself to have real conversations about what works best for you.
2. Burnout is characterized by shame or questioning of value and effectiveness. When you accomplish something, celebrate it. Recognize that if not for you, it would not have happened. This isn't about public recognition (though that is always nice). Its about being able to see the value and impact of your work. Ask yourself where the project would be without your contribution. What impact have you had?
3. Burnout can be isolating, and people who are affected by it often feel disconnected from others. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is find friends and colleagues to connect with. Together you will build community, by creating a sense of shared purpose around work.
By focusing on understanding yourself first, you will uncover opportunities for greater alignment, engagement, and an ideal environment, company, and role that works best for you. Need help finding clarity on your values, what you need to thrive, and how to have honest conversations at work? Book a complimentary session today.