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Career burnout—do you know if you’re suffering?

You may not realise you have it, or that your job is the cause, but career burnout is a growing problem in the workplace.

It can affect your physical health. Your mental health. Your work performance. Your relationships with family and friends. And it will only get worse if you don’t do something about it.

Do you have career burnout or are on your way to suffering? Read on to see …

What is career or job burnout?

It’s a well-known, work-related stress and some experts say it’s on the rise. They also say it can creep up on you slowly, without you even realising it.

It manifests itself in different ways with different people but if you’re feeling some of these symptoms you have, or be on your way to, suffering burnout.

Do you:

  • hate the thought of heading to work
  • find it impossible to concentrate or be productive
  • feel unsupported by your boss and others
  • feel negative and cynical about everyone and everything at work
  • feel de-motivated on every level
  • take your unhappiness home
  • find your sleep is affected by your work dissatisfaction
  • feel unwell, with one or more physical complaints
  • find you need alcohol or drugs to settle down?

If so, you could be suffering job or career burnout.

What causes burnout?

As recruitment experts we are hearing about burnout issues from job seekers more and more. Again, different people are affected by different issues, but these factors can be at play:

You’re on a treadmill

Every day is a rush. You can never catch up. Deadlines are never ending. Workload is chaotic. You brace yourself for every day because you’re on a work treadmill and have no way to get off.

You have no control

You know your schedule and workload are both insane. You have ideas on how to fix them, but no one is listening. You lack control over getting help.

You’re job expectations aren’t clear

You’re unclear about the authority you have. You’re always questioning what is expected of you.

Office morale is low

You work in an office that’s dysfunctional. You’re bullied and others around you are too. You’re micromanaged. You’re never given credit where credit is due.

Your work-life is horribly out of balance

You can never recharge. You feel guilty about not spending quality time with family and friends. You want to bury your head under a pillow when you go home instead of re-energising through fun social activities with loved ones.

What not to do


  1. despair that there is no solution—there is
  2. wait for someone else to solve the problem
  3. give up believing it’s not your responsibility to act anyway
  4. let the situation drag because matters could get worse
  5. sit and take no action.

 What to do

  1. Consider talking to your doctor. Be open and honest so they can offer support, including with diet and sleep patterns.
  2. Talk to an expert recruiter about new career opportunities (face2face services are free for candidates). A caring recruiter will help get your resume in order and kickstart the job search.
  3. Think about independent career support through a professional coach (make sure you use one who is accredited and belongs to industry associations).
  4. Keep an open mind as you sift through options. Don’t be afraid to talk to a recruiter or coach about new possibilities.
  5. Talk to your boss or HR department if you can, to at least put matters on the table. Ask if you can work with them to re-evaluate, set goals and change things around.
  6. Get physical. Physical exercise is a major plus in dealing with stress, maintaining better health, gaining more mental energy and sleeping better. If you’re going to be on a treadmill, make it one at the gym. And don’t forget exercise like yoga, which can relax and calm.
  7. Turn off social media and other online channels after work. This will help declutter your brain and lesson stress.
  8. Talk to your family and friends about how to find joy in hanging out with them, doing things that will help you gain perspective.

Tips to remember

  1. Where this is a problem, there is a solution.
  2. Where there is a will, there is a way.
  3. Small changes lead to big things.
  4. Recruitment experts are there to help.

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