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How to recover from burnout and love your job again

By Ben Madden


If you’re feeling burnt out at work, you’re not alone. A 2020 study conducted by Asana found that 77% of Australian respondents suffered from burnout, which was six percent above the global average. However, burnout doesn’t have to be a permanent feeling. We’ve taken a look at how you can recognise that you’re suffering from burnout, how to tell your boss that you’re experiencing burnout and what you can do to love your job again!

What are the signs of job burnout?

There are a few ways to recognise when you’re feeling burnt out. Recognising burnout before it ruins your job satisfaction is important, but it can often be a gradual build-up of things that start to pile up before they get ultimately overwhelming.

Some signs of burnout that you should keep an eye out for include:

  • A loss of motivation/sense of achievement
  • Inability to feel happy, even when things are going well
  • Impostor syndrome
  • A sense of failure
  • A feeling of isolation in the workplace
  • Consistent fatigue/exhaustion 

If you’ve lost your spark at work, then it might be worth talking to those around you about what you’re experiencing. Having a community that you can turn to when things feel particularly tough (both inside and outside the workplace) can make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with burnout.

How do you tell your boss you have burnout?

If you are experiencing burnout at work, then it might be beneficial to talk to your boss about what you’re experiencing, and what can be done to manage burnout. Of course, this may not apply if your boss is part of the reason why you’re feeling burnt out in the first place.

Things that might be causing burnout at work include:

  • A loss of work-life balance
  • Unreasonable expectations related to productivity/hours worked
  • Lack of support from colleagues/other teams
  • Lack of personal and professional development
  • Lack of recognition 

If you’ve made the decision to talk to your boss about the burnout that you’re experiencing, it’s important to find a time when they’re available for a one-on-one chat. Sitting down with them to talk through what might be causing your burnout can help them understand how you are experiencing your role, as their perspective may be different.
 
Once they’ve been made aware that you are feeling burnt out, there are a range of things that can be done in order to positively improve your experience at work.

Some things employers can do to help prevent burnout include:

  • Hire additional resources (where possible)
  • Prioritise improving and optimising working from home arrangements
  • Limit the number of meetings held daily/weekly (if relevant)
  • Encourage employees to use their annual leave
  • Ensure that people’s workloads are not becoming unmanageable
  • Be proactive in recognising when people may be struggling in the workplace
  • Provide professional development in situations where people may feel otherwise unequipped to complete certain aspects of their role

Of course, it shouldn’t always be up to the workforce to speak up about burnout – instead, businesses should be actively working towards creating a positive workplace culture. Workplaces that find ways to manage and eliminate burnout will be more productive, have happier staff and increase retention of their top talent, helping them get ahead of their competition. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Should I quit my job due to burnout?

Quitting your job due to burnout doesn’t always have to be the answer, but it is important to think about whether the job is ultimately making your life better or worse. While most people will experience periods of turmoil at work (as will happen in any aspect of life), if these periods are feeling more and more permanent, then it might be time to look elsewhere.

Research conducted by the National Australia Bank found that one in five people quit their jobs within the last 12 months (as of February 2022). What’s more, almost a quarter of all respondents were planning on leaving their current employer, so it is something that people are strongly considering en masse.

Things to ask yourself if you’re looking to quit your job because of burnout include:

  • Is my employer recognising the value I bring to the business?
  • Am I given the opportunity to grow, or am I stagnating?
  • Is my employer treating me with respect?
  • What does the future of this business look like?
  • Am I neglecting other areas of my life to prioritise work?

If you’ve made the decision to quit your job, then it’s important to do it without burning any bridges, as you never know who you might encounter at another workplace in the future. While quitting your current job might be the answer to dealing with burnout (if all other avenues are exhausted), it’s crucial that you leave in a professional matter.

Of course, not everyone wants to quit their job when experiencing burnout, which is totally understandable. Some of the things you can do to re-evaluate your relationship with work, and ultimately fall in love with your job again include:

  • Take time off to recharge and reset
  • Acknowledge that you’re burnt out, rather than ignoring it
  • Set SMART goals that you can work towards
  • Find hobbies/activities that can take your mind off work
  • Switch off from work when you’re outside working hours

You’re less likely to experience burnout if you make these tips a part of your work routine. A healthy work-life balance is the goal for any worker, and maintaining the divide between your work and the rest of your life can help you continue to enjoy your career for years to come!

Looking to learn more about the world of work? Upskilled’s SkillsTalk blog is full of helpful tips and tricks to help you work towards finding your dream job. You can visit SkillsTalk here for tips on things like finding a new job, presenting yourself professionally and gaining new skills!

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