Career Burnout: Know the 5 Stages and How to Combat It

The 5 stages of career burnout.

Work can be stressful – even without Covid. Learning how to manage that stress is one important aspect of having a healthy work-life balance. Otherwise, you could experience burnout, which is extremely disruptive to your personal and professional life.

What’s burnout? It is basically a state of mind that is born from unresolved stress. To fully grasp the concept, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the five stages.

  1. High Energy
    Often referred to as the “honeymoon phase” of your job. You’ll start a new task and immediately feel high satisfaction, creativity, commitment—basically, all the normal feelings that shouldn’t cause any concern. This doesn’t mean you don’t feel stress at all, but it is far from overwhelming. In this stage, it is important to recognize stressors as they arise and know how to respond to them, so you don’t get bogged down with the negative emotions.
  2. Notable Stress
    Stress not recognized or managed as such, will turn into more stress. You’ll begin to feel a lot of that optimism going away. To illustrate, instead of just having bad moments, you’re having bad days, and this can affect you both physically and mentally. The early signs: You begin to feel more anxious and fatigued. These feelings start impacting your productivity at work, furthermore, it will affect your personal life. Common side effects to watch for include irritability, forgetfulness, headaches, and high blood pressure.
  3. Chronic Stress
    At this stage, your stress will only continue to fester and grow. You feel a severe lack of motivation and begin procrastinating more. You find yourself experiencing high highs and low lows with the lows becoming more and more frequent. Everything will seem more intense and harder to control.
  4. Burnout
    This is where symptoms become extremely troubling and consistent. People who are experiencing burnout often withdraw from friends and family and become more easily aggravated. Moreover, it is common to begin feeling extremely pessimistic and almost obsessive over any problems that occur. You may feel the need to isolate yourself and shut down all together.
  5. Continuous Burnout
    Finally, there is habitual burnout. Instead of fluctuating between motivation and fatigue, it is nearly impossible to feel any positive emotions. Common symptoms of this final stage of burnout include chronic mental fatigue, physical fatigue, and depression. This differs greatly from occasionally feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Combating Burnout

Developing coping strategies will help you stay in the honeymoon phase, and continue feeling committed and satisfied during any task, big or small.

To achieve this, focusing just on bettering your professional life is not enough. Think about your overall wellbeing. Burnout impacts every aspect of your life. Evaluate your attitude, emotions, and coping mechanisms both in and out of the workplace. Key to preventing burnout from taking over your life is to pay attention to your mental health; this will help you take steps to stay in a good headspace.

Seek Help from a Career Growth Specialist

Are you ready to give your career the push forward it needs? As your trusted career growth experts, the MarCan Coaching & Consulting team knows what it takes to help you continue to move forward, so you can avoid issues like burnout syndrome. Get in touch with our experts to take your career to the next level today.

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