The signs of burnout.

Knowing when to call it quits begins once you acknowledge you are burned out. An example of this is the burnout I am currently experiencing in my corporate job. I didn’t realize it or even notice it until it was too late and I was spent. Looking back in hindsight could I have done anything differently or noticed it sooner? In this post I’ll write about what those warning sign could have been.

It’s just temporary…

Last year, 2021, started out normal like any other year until around May. It felt like after we came back from a long weekend for Memorial Day we were slammed with work. At first I thought it was just the normal holiday catch up work but then it continued to drag on. I remembering feeling like this isn’t normal but I told myself that it’s just temporary and it will pass here shortly.

Coworkers leaving…

The next sign I could have noticed were my coworkers beginning to leave the company. As the staffing shortage became more noticeable and the work load continued to be heavy the alarm bells started to ring. Being the perfectionist I am my first thought was, ‘Oh I need to work harder to keep up’. And that’s what I did. I pushed myself to finish more than a normal workload within a normal timeframe, that’s not normal. That’s a death wish.

Happy pills to get through…

After months of pushing through to late summer the thought came across my mind that maybe taking some happy pills to get through will help. I made a mental note to contact my doctor. It was at this point that it dawned on me that something is seriously wrong with the situation. No job should be that bad that you have to consider medicine as a first course of relief. But that’s where I was at that moment.

Silence from management…

At this point in the year it is well known that we are short staffed and overworked without a sign of relief to come. The final sign that burnout is near is when everyone knows you’re overworked but management chooses to remain silent about it. Practicing the policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ doesn’t work, everyone knows that. It’s better to acknowledge it and build camaraderie rather than avoid the issue all together. Also a note to companies around the world, when your staff is overworked don’t go on quarterly earning calls bragging about record profits.

I don’t recommend…

I don’t recommend to anyone to allow your work life to get this out of control before making a change. It’s not healthy. And when you work for a large corporation you have to look out for your health because they are not. I did make some changes and took some steps to deal with the stress and burnout that I will discuss in another post. This post is to serve as a guide to noticing the signs leading up to burnout.

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