5 Stages of Job Burnout & 5 Ways to Correct It

Sandra CampilloWell BeingLeave a Comment

Ever been in a job where you started all gung-ho with all kinds of expectations and goals to reach only to find out later it was not what you had expected? Or ever worked for the micro-managing, insecure type of boss who ended up making your life hell in the process? Or how about the job that started off as a possible career opportunity only to learn that growth was never really an option while reaching a dead end?

There are several different types of job circumstances; for some it is a career choice and for others it is just a job and a requirement in order to make a living and survive.  Whatever the reasons, your job should never be a place where it becomes so stressful that it becomes a health risk.

5 Stages of Job Burnout

(Analysis taken from Doctors Robert Veninga and James Spradley, 1981)

  • Job Satisfaction: This is when you start out loving your job so much that you become enthusiastic, energetic and highly motivated.  You feel that your work life is great and everything just seems to be going really well.  During this stage, you are over compensating and becoming a workaholic.
  • Fuel Shortage: This is when you start falling short of energy and your fuel tank is near empty.  Your body begins to wear down, you feel fatigued and you complain about being tired.  During this stage, your productivity begins to drop, you start to call out sick because you just don’t have the desire to be at work, you lack creativity, initiative and decision making isn’t something you want to partake in.  At this point, most begin to fall victim to chemical or drug stimulant dependencies to keep them going.
  • Chronic Symptoms:  You have now reached the point of exhaustion and begin to feel pain while experiencing pathological symptoms of disease.  During this stage, you become resentful, irritable and short tempered.  This negative energy is picked up by those around you.  As a result of the continued stress over-load, productivity decreases greatly and positive social relationships are now at risk getting caught in the crossfire.  The stimulants are no longer serving the purpose intended when started.
  • Burnout Crisis:  During this stage, you are now displaying serious symptoms.  You become fixated on how miserable you are in your job while letting negativity consume your every thought.  Unknowingly, you reach a point where the stress is consuming your life and as a result driving your body towards illness & disease.
  • Hitting the Wall:  In this stage, your energy has been depleted.  You find yourself physically and psychologically drained; unable to get up and go to work day after day, highly unmotivated with no desire to get moving.  Some reach a point of drug addiction while others experience a complete mental & physical breakdown.  You may also become very difficult to live with.  In this stage, your body has reached auto-intoxication and you are well on your way to a potential state of irreversible, pathological disease.

Job burnout is a downward spiral and can lead to serious mental and physiological health risks.  It is important to be aware of the various stages that lead you to burning out in the workplace and take necessary steps to correct them before you reach the point of no return and your life and health get put in jeopardy.

5 Ways to Correct Job Burnout

  • Acknowledge when your desire to succeed has reached an all time low. Be aware of your lack of motivation.  Recognize your drive is no longer where it used to be.  It is important to realize that you are no longer giving it your best shot and that you are no longer maximizing your abilities.  Its time for a change.
  • Work towards a solution.  Working towards making a change versus continuing to stay in the same rut will lead to beneficial outcomes.  Find a way to get yourself out of the “I’m stuck” mode.  You are never stuck and there is always a way out.  The last thing you want to do is get used to the situation.  It is important that you work towards changing it.  Stop and think about what your abilities are and where you can apply them.  Then work on making a change.  Possibly a new job, a new position or a new field of interest.
  • Make time for YOU. When you leave the workplace, practice on leaving work at work.  Go for daily walks in the sunshine and just breathe.  Take this time to think about the wonderful things in your life.  Surely, there are a number of things to be grateful for:  A home to live in, food to eat, water to drink, being able to take that walk, being able to see the sunshine and being able to breathe the fresh air.  Forget for a moment what is wrong and focus on what is right.  This will help you re-balance and release the tension and stress.
  • Find an outlet.  Don’t keep things bottled up; it will only make matters worse.  Find someone you can talk to and let it all out.
  • Practice daily affirmations.  Affirm positivity throughout the day and remind yourself that you are worthy of all great things, that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to do, that you will surpass this bump in the road and that great things await.  Always, always, always know your honor, your value and your worth and never let anyone or any job ever take that away from you. Positive affirmations will boost your confidence level, your self-esteem, improve performance levels and help minimize negative emotions.  Practice this daily and watch your life begin to turn around!

Don’t waste your time worrying about the things you can’t control and focus on the things that you can. There is far much more to gain when you do.

What are some ways you used positivity to change your downward spiral?

Share your comments below.  Would love to hear them!

Sending lots of hugs & positive vibes! xo

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