Ellevate Your Career is a blog series on On & Off Duty that focuses on career advice for young professional women in the workplace.
If there is one career topic that doesn’t get enough attention, it would be the rise of employee burnout. As a problem that plagues around 95% of employees today, you would think it would be in the forefront of news today.
So how does an issue so prevalent in today’s business world become so commonplace that most of us can’t recognize it? It’s all about how we measure success in today’s world. From content going “viral” to “instagram models” and such, we live in a world in which success is measured on how quickly one can rise to the top. We accept burnout as a necessary evil to achieve the lofty goals we have set forth.
What is employee burnout??
It’s that moment when you are so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from the stress of your job that you no longer perform at your optimal level. I’m sure many of you have felt this way at one point in your careers; I know I have.
Our generation doesn’t live in that picture perfect 9to5 business world from those Mad Men days, but exists in a 24/7 hyper-connected loop that never ends. With all the good things that technology brings, there is a whole mess it leaves behind.
Is there a way to prevent a burnout?
Well just like anything in life, it’s all about finding the the right balance of self and ambition. In the past couple of years, I’ve honed in on a few tips and tricks that help me get back to center and I’m sharing them with you all below.
// UNPLUG & RECHARGE //
How many times during the day are you checking your phone? We check our phone at every sounds and with every email that comes in. The need to immediately respond to prove your dedication to your work is slowly but surely causing a level of stress you may not realize you have.
The most important and vital thing you can do for yourself is learn how to unplug your technology and disconnect from the technical world around you. Schedule an hour once a week to dedicate to yourself. Use that hour to tackle a project that’s been on your to-do list forever, read an actual physical book or use a part of that time to meditate.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can get use to not having your phone with at all times and just how much better you feel after just one hour away from it all.
// FIND YOUR SUPPORT //
As a woman that works in a male dominated workplace, I sometimes feel an immense pressure to keep up with the level of work output that I see from my co-workers. From late night emails to weekend conference calls, the feeling to keep up can be intense and overwhelming. I so understand the feeling….
That’s why I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to speak up and say “no” to a new project, to ask for help when you feel like you’re drowning in work, or to even let your team know that you are quickly headed toward a burnout.
If you work at a company or with a team that values your work, they’ll be there for you. Supporting team members is the best way to drive everyone toward success.
// GET CREATIVE //
Take some time out of your week to focus on doing something creative. Recharge your batteries by spending some time working on your hobby, working on a passion project, or even bringing out a an old childhood game that brought you joy.
For me, this little blog of mind has been a passionate project and a way for me to get out of my “HR” world for a few hours a week.
It’s those moments when we do something we love or enjoy that we get the most pleasure out of our time. It’s also in those moments when the best ideas tend to strike!
// RECOGNIZE YOUR SUCCESS //
How often are we looking ahead toward goals we are gunning to reach in lightening speed that we forget to look back at all the good work that led up to that moment.
If you are anything like me, the answer to that question is pretty damn often. I’m personally very uncomfortable with praise, especially in the workplace, so it can be hard to me to recognize my successes, since they seem so small at the end of the day.
Don’t be like me. At the end of every week, look back and celebrate your “wins”, no matter how big or small. It’s those small moments in life that are the steps that get you to the top; appreciate them.
// GET PHYSICAL //
I may be beating a dead horse here but physical exercise is the best way to release negative thoughts and keep you mentally strong.
There is a reason why just about every successful person in this world makes it a habit to get physical for at least 30 minutes each day. They know how important it is to their own mental health!
Even if you can’t commit to a full 30 minute workout, make sure to get up and move around every few hours. Don’t eat lunch at your desk, use that time to socialize with your co-workers or get a walk outside and breath in fresh air.
As the world prepares itself for an onslaught of #girlbosses ready and willing to take on the world, we must remember to take care of ourselves on the way to the top.
I’d love to know; have any of you experienced work burnout? What helped you get through it? Leave me your story below!
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:: Photography by Justine Seidl ::