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Wednesday Wisdom: Burnout is real and it is hurting you as a leader

This continues our Wednesday Wisdom series where we review some of the top leadership issues we are currently assisting our clients through. We hope you enjoy reading!

I know, some of you read the headline of this blog and immediately say in your head, “This is not me.” I said the same thing many years ago when I read an article about burnout. We are usually in denial. We have been trained that way. We have been groomed to think that only the “weak people” get burned out.

Let’s face it. Most of us are going to experience workplace burnout at some point or another. It was an epidemic when I worked in healthcare. I am certain it still is. We have to be able to identify the signs of burnout in order to be able to come to grips with the fact that we are BURNED OUT!

Are you experiencing:

- Irritability towards co-workers and customers?

- Physical exhaustion when you are at work?

- Being very sarcastic and even making jabs when you can?

- Trouble focusing on what you need to get done?

- Increased “sick days” when you are not sick?

- Little to no job satisfaction?

- Trouble leaving work at work?

If you can do an honest assessment and you answer yes to a few of these, there is all the “proof” you need. Now it is time to act. You need to understand that this is not just affecting you. If you are leading people, it is having a negative impact on your team. If you have someone you go home to after work, you already know it is an issue with them. Let me tell you a little secret: They are tired of you coming home and spending the entire night complaining about your job!

What can you do?

Here are a few things you can do:

- First you have to admit to yourself that you are experiencing burn out.

- Is there a way you can find things to help you release some of the work stress when you are home? A hobby? Exercise? Journaling?

- If you already know the issue that is causing your burnout, address it head on. Many times it is due to a toxic work environment or too much responsibility being expected of you.

- Go back to basics. Ask yourself why you took this job. Was it to fulfill a dream? Is that dream fulfilled? Was it for a paycheck? Can you get that paycheck somewhere else?

If you have taken steps to try to correct the problems and you are not feeling better, the only option is change. Do not fool yourself that things are going to get better. It is a rare occasion when you are able to “recover” from burnout. Do not be afraid to change jobs. Find something that is going to bring you more joy and satisfaction than you have now. Do it for you, for your team, for your customers and for your family.


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