Five Signs of Burnout at Work

Burnout at work is quite prevalent in this era but professionals haven't reached an agreement on its symptoms and characteristics.
Five Signs of Burnout at Work

Last update: 03 January, 2024

Burnout at work is here to stay. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to follow the teachings of Confucius, who suggested people should pick a job they like so they never have to “work” a day in their life. The sad reality is that people tend to ignore the warning signs. It seems that they aren’t to make you rethink your occupation. Easier said than done, right?

Employment is a powerfully influential factor in people’s lives. It’s sometimes even fulfilling and comfortable. The opposite is true in most cases, though. In fact, many people are continually stressed. Below, you’ll read about the warning signs that may appear when a person’s job isn’t pleasant at all.

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions and your soul has departed. You’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.”

-Sam Keen-

How to tell if you’re suffering from burnout at work

Many scientific studies assert that liking one’s job isn’t only good for the employee. Actually, being comfortable with what you do leads to better performance and, of course, better results for your employer.

The thing is it isn’t always easy to find a job that suits you, so there are many factors to consider. For example, it’s important to do something you consider valuable. Something that motivates you to excel at it.

A woman who's burnout at work.

Indeed, burnout at work is a rather undesirable situation. You must remember that you’re spending many hours of your day working. Thus, it’ll be better to change it or at least, identify your discomfort in order to improve some parts of it if it’s just killing you to be there. Take into account the following warning signs to find out if you’re at the end of your rope.

Your job makes you feel empty

It isn’t easy to find the perfect job, one that matches your talents and skills. Circumstances lead people to jobs they only take because they need the money.

Personal and professional development are closely linked. This is why it’s important to do an emotional check from time to time. It’s the only way to know exactly how you feel about your job.

Do you wake up sad every morning? Do you hate going to work? Is it perhaps because you feel like an automaton? It’s a good idea to do some introspection and figure out what you need. Now, congratulations if you’re looking forward to going to work, you probably have an awesome one. If you neither love it nor hate your job, then perhaps you can do something to improve it. Think about it.

There’s a bad environment

Sometimes, you have to put up with bosses you highly dislike. Then again, oftentimes you have to put up with rigid and unpleasant colleagues. Is this you? Then, perhaps you’re already burnt out at work, or about to be, if these types of situations lead to discomfort and uneasiness.

Leadership style influences employee contentment and development. It’s normal for there to be problems, quarrels, and little empathy between workers when a person in charge doesn’t look after the welfare of their employees. It ultimately affects the level of general and individual well-being.

Think about what makes you uncomfortable and think of ways to improve it. It’s true that you won’t be able to change what’s happening around you most of the time, but at least you’ll be able to change the way you internally manage the situation.

Two people burnout at work.

Stress is getting to you

In spite of being a defense mechanism, stress can be really bad when it’s extreme. Thus, it can be positive in the right amount. In contrast, it’ll lead to illnesses if it’s chronic.

You must be in good basic health and be comfortable in your job. Perhaps, you’re not managing the situation well if you’re stressed every day, aren’t reaching your goals, and can’t think about anything other than work.

Practicing relaxation exercises, learning to organize yourself, and above all, disconnecting from work when you’re at home are all essential. Seek professional help if you’re unable to do these on your own.

You’re feeling undervalued

It’s important to feel valued at the work level. Any employee who knows they’re doing a good job and is recognized for it shows a high degree of satisfaction and, of course, performs better.

This isn’t you? Then, you may already be burnout at work or getting there. No matter how much your results may be, your supervisor doesn’t value your effort and considers it your duty. Expecting for them to recognize what you do might be a mistake. One that drives you to give more and more of yourself until the situation becomes untenable.

Perhaps you forget that the only opinion that counts, in regard to your value, is yours. There’s no better appraisal than that. Indeed, job recognition is key for you to feel comfortable in your company. You can always express how you feel if this isn’t the case. Perhaps you should rethink what you do or how to continue if you think don’t think it possible.

A man who's burnout at work.

You’re not using your full potential when you’re burnout at work

Many employees are burnout at work. Most feel like they can do it better but they either aren’t allowed to or lack the motivation to do so. This is a common situation in today’s job market.

Unfortunately, this results in good workers being bored in their job and wanting to get out of there as soon as possible. Perhaps, they’re doing just enough and wasting all their potential, stagnating in the process.

Is this you? Maybe it’s time to take some action. What do you want to do with your life? It’s never too early to make a life-changing decision. Remember that you’re in charge!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.