Job burnout: how to recognize it?


Have you been lacking the energy to be consistently productive and did you feel disillusioned about your job? These are just a few of the symptoms of a job burnout , a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.

What causes job burnout?
According to Mayo Clinic, a job burnout can result from various factors, including:

(1) Lack of control: An inability to influence decisions and resources related to your job - such as your schedule, assignments or workload - could lead to job burnout.

(2) Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work

(3) Poor job fit. If your job doesnt fit your interests and skills, it may become increasingly stressful over time.

(4) Work-life imbalance. If your work takes up so much of
your time and effort that you dont have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you may burn out quickly.

Burnout is considered to have a range of symptoms. Three main areas of symptoms are considered to be signs of burnout syndrome:

(1) Emotional exhaustion: People affected feel drained and exhausted, overloaded, tired and low, and do not have enough energy. Physical symptoms include pain or problems with the stomach or bowel.

(2) Alienation from (job-related) activities: People affected find their jobs increasingly negative and frustrating. They may develop a cynical attitude towards their work environment and their colleagues.

(3) Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home or when caring for family members. People with burnout regard their activities very negatively, find it hard to concentrate, are listless and experience a lack of creativity.

Certain symptoms also occur in depression. These include: extreme exhaustion, feeling low, and reduced performance.

Because the symptoms are similar, some people may be diagnosed with burnout although they really have depression. So people should be careful with (self)diagnosis because it might lead to taking the wrong measures. It would be a mistake, for example, to recommend someone with depression to take a longer vacation or time off work. This can help people who are only exhausted from work recover, but it might cause more problems for people with depression because they need very different types of support such as psychotherapy or drug treatment....

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