5 Ways to Combat Job Burnout

Author: Krista Regedanz


The challenge of burnout can be especially taxing for creative, goal-oriented people. When these people blame themselves for their situation, the feeling of exhaustion only gets worse, and they feel helpless. Their efforts seem to get them nowhere. The cycle of working harder, seeing little or no results and getting increasingly stressed out is extremely disparaging.

As a career coach specializing in helping people through this exhausting cycle, I’ve found tools that help combat burnout. If you suffer from burnout, applying these tools will help you increase your energy and incremently take your life back from your draining job.

1. Create an emergency escape route - An emergency escape route takes some of the paralyzing stress from you. You facilitate the planning for your next step. Some first steps in creating your escape route are: find ways to create a money reserve and prepare a current resume.

2. Design support environments - Environments are the circumstances, objects, or conditions which surround you. An environment can be your eNetwork (email, web, electronic community) or your vocabulary.

You can increase your creativity and inspiration by setting up supportive environments that constantly trigger inspiration. If your morning drive to the office finds you discouraged by listening to negative morning news, consider creating a new environment by listening to your favorite music or to inspirational talks.

3. Eliminate drains - A drain is anything that wastes your time, drains your energy, and has some negativity around it. It could be circumstances, habits, things or people.

Drains have an opportunity cost. When you focus on a drain, you don’t have time to create, respond to opportunities (or even notice them), or do what you really want. You miss out on opportunities which might be more fun, lucrative, creative or significant.

4. Uncover your job values - Your values are the behavior and activities to which you are naturally drawn. When engaged in these activities, you feel most like yourself: connected, excited, glowing. Your life has a feeling of effortlessness. Most of us lead lives which do not grant us the chance to feel this way. If you take the time to identify your values, you will be more aware of why there are conflicts between you and your job and be more able to identify the needs you have sacrificed.

5. Define success for yourself - Until you take the time to define success for yourself, it will be defined by others (your boss, your parents, your partner), your culture, the past, or advertising. One way to define success for yourself is to complete the sentence, “I know I am being successful by . . .”



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