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Job Burnout: Frazzled, Fed up, and Running on Empty

FlourishAnyway is an industrial/organizational psychologist with applied experience in corporate Human Resources and consulting.

Does your work make you feel like this? Chronic work stress can rob you of a sense of accomplishment, enthusiasm, and self-worth.

Does your work make you feel like this? Chronic work stress can rob you of a sense of accomplishment, enthusiasm, and self-worth.

Hyperaccessible, Adaptable Workers Wanted

Check out any online job board, and you can quickly pick up on a theme. In today's globally connected marketplace, employers want hyper-accessible workers who can adapt like chameleons.

Oftentimes, job advertisements paint a picture of burnout before it even happens:

  • Employers describe a "rapidly changing and ambiguous business environment" and
  • seek an employee who is "metrics-oriented, organized and has a need to win,"
  • someone who is "able to deal with multiple, changing priorities,"
  • in a "high productivity setting" and
  • can provide "on-demand" customer service.

Is it any wonder that workers are so frazzled?

Don't crack under pressure. Take that earned vacation time and take care of yourself.

Don't crack under pressure. Take that earned vacation time and take care of yourself.

No-Vacation Nation

Americans take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later compared with most other developed nations.1 We spend an average of 8.8 hours a day working, and many employees bring their work home with them and on vacation.2

According to a survey by mobile communications firm Good Technology, 80% of workers surveyed take their work home with them. This includes

  • reading emails before 8 a.m. (68%),
  • answering work emails during family time (57%),
  • checking emails while in bed (50%),
  • working after 10 p.m. (40%), and
  • reading work emails during dinner (38%).3

While almost one in four U.S. workers has no paid vacation time, more than half of those who do have vacation forfeit some of it due to fears of getting behind in their work or losing their job.4,5

America has become a no-vacation nation, bound to our work by our cell phones and email. We are constantly available, perpetually on the clock. In a world where only 9% of Americans do not have cell phones, we have managed to blur the boundaries between work and home.6

But there is a hefty price to pay for über availability.

Job burnout was once considered primarily a risk of the "helping professions."  Now, it is recognized to affect a range of professions, from investment bankers to factory workers.

Job burnout was once considered primarily a risk of the "helping professions." Now, it is recognized to affect a range of professions, from investment bankers to factory workers.

The High Price of Job Burnout

Costs of burnout can include the loss of:

  • enthusiasm and idealism that you had when you started work;
  • professional identity that your job gives you;
  • physical and emotional energy and mental sharpness;
  • a sense of community with colleagues, clients, and the organization; and
  • self-worth, hope, a sense of competence, control, and making an impact.
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While not a psychological disorder itself, burnout is associated with poor health:

  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • weight gain,
  • high blood pressure,
  • inflammation, and
  • lowered levels of immunity.
Skipping vacation to get your work done?  It may not be the best choice.

Skipping vacation to get your work done? It may not be the best choice.

Job Burnout Affects Many Professions

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion created by chronic stress.

It was once seen as primarily a risk to the helping professions — for example, nurses, teachers, social workers, and the clergy. However, burnout is now recognized to also impact investment bankers, manufacturing workers, lawyers, middle managers, and executives.

Heck, even experts on burnout have been known to succumb to it themselves!

It is estimated that more than one in four American workers is suffering job burnout.7

Feeling utterly spent from long hours and heavy workloads, burned-out workers sacrifice their own needs for their jobs. As a result, they begin to hold their work in contempt — as well as themselves, their clients, and coworkers. They work until there is simply nothing left to give.

Typically others can recognize the signs of burnout before the employee can.

Recognize job burnout before it takes its toll. Effects of burnout can be behavioral, emotional, motivational, and cognitive.

Recognize job burnout before it takes its toll. Effects of burnout can be behavioral, emotional, motivational, and cognitive.

Burnout: Signs You're Headed for Trouble

Symptoms of burnout include emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and motivational impacts. The more you can identify with the following signs, the more likely you are headed for job burnout.

Emotionally, the burned-out worker may become critical, cynical, and resentful of work. This includes

  • irritability or impatience with coworkers, clients, and others;
  • disillusionment about one's job;
  • dissatisfaction with one's achievements; and
  • feeling exhausted emotionally, mentally, and physically which may be expressed in various unexplained physical ailments (e.g., headaches, backaches).

Behaviorally, the burned-out worker may experience:

  • a change in sleep patterns;
  • the use of food, drugs, and alcohol to try to feel better;
  • self-isolation from coworkers and others; and
  • skipping work, reporting for work late, and/or leaving early.

Cognitively, their functioning may decrease. It is harder for the burned-out worker to

  • pay attention
  • concentrate and
  • remember.

Motivationally, the employee no longer seems to be the ball of fire that they once were. The worker loses interest in work. They may

  • have trouble dragging himself to work and getting the workday started;
  • lack the energy to be consistently productive;
  • feel like his work in this job is done;
  • procrastinate, taking longer to complete tasks;
  • avoid volunteering to help with even small duties; and
  • encounter declining job performance.
This poor polar bear is burned out and bored.

This poor polar bear is burned out and bored.

Are You Burnout Prone?

Certain personal characteristics make workers more susceptible to job burnout than others.8

Remember being 22 and wanting to set the world ablaze with your awesomeness? Inflated expectations can particularly set you up for burnout. Cross-cultural research repeatedly and consistently finds that younger people burn out more often than older people.

Where you get your fulfillment is about seeking balance and setting priorities in your life. Thus, research finds that single people burn out more than married people (so long as they have happy marriages). People without children burn out more than those with children, even with the added strain of parenting.

High achievers, those who have attained higher levels of education, and people who are prone to depression, anxiety, or anger problems are also more prone to burnout.

Also, if you have trouble saying "no" or setting boundaries — especially regarding bringing work home with you — you could be setting yourself up for job burnout.

One of the strongest predictors of burnout is work/home interference — taking a work call during family time or answering work emails while tucking the kids into bed.

It's tempting to cast blame on the burned-out employee for his plight (e.g., she cannot cope with stress, he wasn't qualified for the work). However, one must dig deeper by looking at the organization itself. Typically, there are substantial situational stressors and other burned-out workers, too.

Job burnout is a crisis in job effectiveness and self-worth. It may prompt you to wonder why you're working so hard for so little in return?

Job burnout is a crisis in job effectiveness and self-worth. It may prompt you to wonder why you're working so hard for so little in return?

What Causes Job Burnout?

Job burnout is ­­­­­a crisis in job effectiveness and self-worth, the feeling that you are working way too hard and not accomplishing anything. You feel your work has low value and your inputs are meaningless.

Often it's the best and brightest who burn out, those who are on fire to prove themselves. So just how do you get from burning star to burned out?

Researchers say one of six organizational factors can lead to burnout:

  1. work overload - too much work
  2. an unfair work environment (e.g., overly demanding or unclear job expectations, dysfunctional workplace dynamics, micromanagement, office bullying)
  3. lack of social support (e.g., close, supportive relationships at work and home)
  4. lack of control over decisions that affect your job (i.e., your schedule, workload, resources to do your job, challenge level)
  5. working in the service of values you dislike (e.g., poor job fit)
  6. working for insufficient reward (money, prestige, positive feedback, recognition)

I used to be a classic workaholic, and after seeing how little work and career really mean when you reach the end of your life, I put a new emphasis on things I believe count more ... family, friends, being part of a community, and appreciating the little joys of the average day.

— Mitch Albom, American author and broadcaster

On his way to work, this weary employee tries to catch up on sleep on the train.

On his way to work, this weary employee tries to catch up on sleep on the train.

How to Build a Better Workplace: 3 Key Takeaways for Managers

As a former HR investigator for Fortune 500 companies, I've found that job burnout often had a role in the complaints I was reviewing. Here are common situations I've encountered, plus lessons learned for managers.

Any Coward Can Micromanage

Many complaints involved first-time supervisors who were struggling to gain their leadership footing. Rather than provide direction, they micromanaged every detail of subordinates' jobs, draining the energy and strangling the confidence of their people.

However, it wasn't just inexperienced managers; it was also seasoned executives. There was an Executive Vice President who regularly spent hours re-crafting sentences on a report that had been carefully written by professionals three levels under him and then reviewed by subsequent levels.

It takes a brave manager to provide just enough direction, then step away and let competent people do what they are paid to do.

Micromanagers watch you like a hawk.

Micromanagers watch you like a hawk.

The Stress of Being Micromanaged: How to Deal

"If you want something done right, then do it yourself."

So goes the motto of the micromanager. Micromanagement is a significant source of job burnout.

The micromanager typically does not realize that they have "control" and "overinvolvement" issues that interfere with their ability to delegate effectively. They fool themselves with the belief that they are simply being a good manager by rolling up their sleeves.

Rather than assigning tasks to subordinates and then trusting them to do their work, the micromanager instead feels compelled to be personally involved in every decision, in every step of every task. If the subordinate deviates even slightly from the script, then approvals and sign-offs are required.

There are no allowances for creativity or self-direction, and subordinate growth opportunities are stymied.

Ultimately, this style of mismanagement is grounded in the manager's internal anxiety about relinquishing control and in her distrust of those she supervises. Sometimes company culture or stressful circumstances may encourage micromanagement. Micromanagement should be considered for what it is: microagression.

To effectively deal with a micromanager, work on building your boss' trust. Try to understand the source of her anxiety and plan accordingly. For example: Have you missed deadlines previously, misunderstood her direction, or made errors that embarrassed her? Oftentimes, however, micromanagement is not personal. It may have more to do with her anxiety than with you.9

Help alleviate your micromanager's anxiety by making sure she knows your skill sets. Help her lead by repeating back to her your understanding of her direction for clarity.

Be super reliable and overly communicative regarding any tasks she has assigned you. Offer detailed, regular updates on your progress before she has a chance to ask you how it's going. Send her drafts of your work to date. Schedule check-ins to ask for your micromanager's feedback along the way.

By anticipating her needs, you beat the micromanager at her own control game. With steady application and positive feedback when she lets you make your own decisions, you'll find that ultimately your micromanager's trust in you will improve.

Playing Favorites Stresses Everyone Out

Managers often have a "go-to" person: someone they can trust to do the job right, someone who will take on new or additional tasks, often on short notice and without complaint.

This is the path of least resistance, and it builds resentment within the team. The "go-to" becomes overburdened, and the others don't get development opportunities.

Off the Clock Means "It Can Wait"

My experience is that some of the most contentious employee situations have involved managers' attempts to schedule work activities during employees' vacation and family time.

For example:

  • conference calls scheduled for excessively early or late hours (6 a.m./7 p.m.),
  • managers requesting employees to work during their medical leaves of absence, and
  • an "urgent" text for information during a family funeral. (Is anything that urgent?)
  • Best of all, one employee received a call when she was in the hospital delivering her baby. Between contractions, her boss requested that she email some data to them. Um, no.
Do you feel like just another cog in the company wheel? Take steps to help yourself before burnout takes its toll.  If a manager doesn't know about a worker's burnout until an exit interview, something is seriously amiss.

Do you feel like just another cog in the company wheel? Take steps to help yourself before burnout takes its toll. If a manager doesn't know about a worker's burnout until an exit interview, something is seriously amiss.

Professions With the Highest Burnout Rates

Whereas 27.8% of all American workers experience burnout, some professions are much more susceptible to it than others.


Almost half of doctors report symptoms of job burnout.10 A 2013 survey of 24,000 physicians conducted by Medscape found a high rate of burnout among physicians.11

Burnout rates varied by specialty, with work hours and bureaucracy figuring as significant stressors. Specialties with the highest rates of burnout are as follows:

  • Emergency Medicine (51%)
  • Critical Care (50%)
  • Family Medicine (43%)
  • Anesthesiology (42%)
  • General Surgery (42%)
  • Internal Medicine (42%) and
  • Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Services (42%)
General surgeons have a high burnout rate among physicians.

General surgeons have a high burnout rate among physicians.

Burnout rates for other specific professions are not always widely available. However, if one looks at other statistics by profession -- rates of divorce, depression, and suicide -- a pattern emerges regarding the general level of stress workers experience.

Workers in the Caretaking Professions

Aside from doctors, people in the following caretaking professions have higher divorce, depression and/or suicide rates:12

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Massage therapists
  • Nursing home and childcare workers
  • Chiropractors
  • Veterinarians
  • Dentists and
  • Healthcare workers.

With some of them, perhaps you can blame the stress of low status and low control over their jobs. Others professions, such as veterinarians and dentists, often carry enormous debt from school and establishing a private practice.

Professions With Low Status and Low Control

Workers in the following professions often lack of control over decisions that affect your job and are often poorly rewarded for their effort. Thus, they often have high depression or divorce rates:13

  • maids and housekeeping
  • food service/waitstaff
  • baggage porters and concierges
  • factory workers
  • maintenance and groundskeepers and
  • administrative support.

Finance Workers

Finance workers (including financial advisors and accountants) have higher rates of depression and suicide than other types of employees. Perhaps it's the types of people who are drawn to these professions, or a mixture of the intense workload periods and lack of control they have over their jobs. After all, even experts have poor stock picking skills and can't time the market well.


Divorce and depression tends to plague entertainers at higher rates than other types of employees. Perhaps the overly demanding or unclear nature of their job expectations and their lack of recognition figures into these outcomes. These professions include:14

  • dancers and choreographers
  • performers, sports and related workers
  • artists and
  • writers.

We are all trading time for money in our professional pursuits. Burnout rates demonstrate that many employees could use an extra level of understanding. You never know the struggles that someone else is facing, either on or off the job.

If you feel like your work is a high wire act with little time for rest, perhaps it's time to make some changes.  You can't go on like this indefinitely.

If you feel like your work is a high wire act with little time for rest, perhaps it's time to make some changes. You can't go on like this indefinitely.

Achieving Balance: Work Won't Love You Back

Job burnout can be prevented and dealt with by practicing healthy lifestyle management:15

  • start the day with a relaxing ritual
  • nourish your body by eat healthy
  • exercise regularly
  • get adequate rest/sleep
  • learn to say "no" (you are not as indispensable as you believe)
  • take a break from technology
  • leave work at work
  • do something creative; maintain regular hobbies
  • your relationships are your lifeline to healing -- maintain them
  • prioritize your life goals
  • take your earned vacation
  • get clarity in job duties
  • address problems rather than letting them linger
  • seek counseling through your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a private therapist
  • consider a change of job duties (e.g., different grade level, sales territory, department) and
  • don't wait until you've burned out to do something about your job situation.
You are not alone. Over one in four Americans suffers job burnout.  In some professions, rates are much higher.

You are not alone. Over one in four Americans suffers job burnout. In some professions, rates are much higher.


1Schabner, Dean. "Americans Work More Than Anyone." ABC News. Last modified May 1, 2013.

2U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "American Time Use Survey." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last modified July 10, 2013.

3 Core Performance. "Study: 80 Percent of Employees are Taking Work Home." Last modified July 17, 2012.

4Jamieson, Dave. "U.S. Workers Trail Rest Of Developed Countries In Vacation Time: Report." The Huffington Post. Last modified May 24, 2013.

5Censky, Annalyn. "Unused vacation days: Why workers take a pass." CNNMoney. Last modified May 18, 2012.

6Smith, Aaron. "Smartphone Ownership 2013." Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. Last modified June 5, 2013.

Too much to do?  Not enough time?  You could be facing job burnout.

Too much to do? Not enough time? You could be facing job burnout.

7Shanafelt, Tait D., Sonja Boone, Litjen Tan, Lotte Dyrbye, Wayne Sotile, Daniel Satele, Colin P. West, Jeff Sloan, and Michael R. Oreskovich. "Burnout and Satisfaction With Work-Life Balance Among US Physicians Relative to the General US Population." JAMA Internal Medicine 172, no. 18 (2012): 1377-1385. Accessed August 29, 2013.

8Senior, Jennifer. "Where Work Is a Religion, Work Burnout Is Its Crisis of Faith." New York Magazine. Last modified October 24, 2007.

9Small Business Association | National Federation of Independent Business. "Micromanagement Is Mismanagement: Are You a Micromanager?" Accessed August 28, 2013.

10Chicago Tribune. "Job burnout strikes doctors more often than other workers." Last modified August 21, 2012.

11The Advisory Board Company. "Medscape: The specialties with the most—and the least—burnout | The Advisory Board Daily Briefing." Last modified April 4, 2013.

12Worth, Tammy. "10 Careers With High Rates of Depression." Accessed August 29, 2013.,,20428990,00.html.

13Lubin, Gus. "The 15 Jobs Where You're Most Likely To Get Divorced." Business Insider. Last modified September 28, 2010.

14Lubin, Gus. "The 19 Jobs Where You're Most Likely To Kill Yourself." Business Insider. Last modified October 18, 2011.

15Jacobs, Deborah L. "How To Keep Your Job Without Working Yourself To Death." Forbes. Last modified April 9, 2012.

If you suffer job burnout, resolve to get help.  Whether it's making a job change or making adjustments in your work environment, you owe it your your health and happiness.

If you suffer job burnout, resolve to get help. Whether it's making a job change or making adjustments in your work environment, you owe it your your health and happiness.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: I work in a hospital, and the new director in my department has changed all of our schedules. We are now forced to work 5 days per week plus all recognized holidays and are not allowed to socialize. I have been there for 20 years, and the last 10 years have worked only 4 days a week. Because of the changes, I've had to take time off for emotional stress. What are my options?

Answer: With your director being new, she is probably trying to make a positive and immediate noticeable impact to impress her management. New directors/managers are notorious for enacting change and wanting to make their mark quickly.

Unfortunately, yours may be failing to consider the morale of department employees. Employees in any difficult work situation (that's you) have several options when they don't like the changes they are faced with:

1) resist - form a union, sign a petition, approach upper management and/or HR as a group to complain, file grievances

2) flee - quit, retire, request a transfer to a different department, go part-time if that's an option

3) freeze - go out on stress or other medical leave so you can press "pause" on dealing with the situation

4) adapt - figure out a way to make it work, realizing you'll probably outlast her.

As you consider your response, ask yourself these questions:

How are your coworkers coping with the change? Are they having as difficult a time as you with the changes? Talk with those you trust. Talk with your direct manager as well about the changes. Can she help? What are the director's reasons for the changes? Are the changes permanent? (Certainly you can't be expected to work all recognized holidays forever.) Are you a source of the problems or are you simply feeling the pain of a broad sweeping policy change aimed at correcting problems that should have been dealt with individually (e.g., only certain people tend to socialize too much, now everyone is punished for their habits)?

Ask for a copy of these new policies in writing as the changes are made. Oftentimes, they look more ridiculous once they appear in writing and you as an experienced employee can poke holes in them as someone who is "concerned" about patients and employees. Burnout is a real thing among nurses and other medical personnel, and that's what she's flirting with. Does she really want to deal with the consequences of mistakes made by burned out nurses?

© 2013 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 02, 2019:

MakingAComeback - Thanks for sharing your story. You may want to consult a therapist to support you in maintaining a healthy work/life balance and talk through any lingering issues. I'm sorry you were dismissed when you simply tried to practice self-care. I hope you're at a better company now and are able to keep work in perspective. Health and relationships matter much more than than work.

MakingAComeback on May 31, 2019:

I suffered burnout last fall and was promptly fired by my manager. At the time I did not realize what had happened only that my drive for work decreased and I was unhappy. I worked long hours and the only way I knew to cope was to bring my hours back into the normal (40-50 hr/week) range. This was seen as not being part of the team and I was released without cause.

I really enjoyed working there and had many good friendships form. To be a high performer then to have a few bad weeks and to be let go unexpectedly was a surprise. Luckily I was prepared financially and was able to take a few months off. Back to work now and still don't feel like my old self. Things don't seem as important and I don't take work as seriously.

I keep telling myself it's better in the long run but after 8 months it is still painful.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 15, 2018:

Finn - Thanks for reading. Burnout impacts not only the employee but also his or her colleagues, clients, and family. It's best to prevent it before it takes its toll. Too often, little is done until it's already taken a toll.

Finn from Barstow on November 14, 2018:

Some great advice and things to think about....definitely.

Didn't realize all those professions had such high levels of duress etc.

Good hints on dealing with burnout and such

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 21, 2018:

Dred Cuan - All the nitpicking can certainly take its toll. Many bosses forget subordinates are actually adults.

Travel Chef from Manila on August 21, 2018:

These are common problems for employees with terrible seniors or bosses. The main reason why employees get burnt out is their bosses who kept on nagging their employees with their demands.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 10, 2015:

worldcitizen777 - When it comes to job burnout and intention to quit, each of us has that final threshold, and it looks like yours has been crossed. I wish you the best in your path forward, wherever that may take you.

worldcitizen777 on June 09, 2015:

Well written. Today was the final tipping point. I am giving my notice pretty soon. Like this one, I have left a position without something else lined up, but I had to use my best judgment and put my health first. I have burnt out because I put up with having my boundaries overstepped and put up with guilt trips for saying no. It seems like my conscientiousness and dedication can be a major contributor when it comes to lingering at places that enable unhealthy work behavior and habits.

My plan for now is to "get over" sitting around being unhappy and to put my feelings into verbs. If I can't have my boundaries respected, like any other relationship, mine will end with my employer. I shall update you all later with how I am able to make money and preserve my health and time.

I just think that the "be thankful you are still employed" mentality at many employers will soon lose its polish when people figure out that it costs much more than their monthly checks to be hospitalized as a result of workplace burnout.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 26, 2015:

joe - Looks like you know how it feels! Good one, Joe! Have a great weekend!

joe on March 26, 2015:

haha, im the guy in the main pic. funny.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 06, 2014:

Suzanne - So sorry you have to experience this. Definitely been there. May you find brighter days ahead. It's good to know someone's finding those Google posted articles. Thanks!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on June 06, 2014:

What a great hub and enjoyed reading it. I have had a lot of job burnout before. I've lived through horrible micromanagement and low pay. At the moment I'm dealing with a workplace where there is no job title, no job description and no job structure. Basically you rock up and do whatever it is they want today. I have done so for a year, but now I'm feeling burned out because I don't know what to expect tomorrow and they've used up all my energy in dealing with new stuff all the time. Plus did I mention the pay sucks? Anyway, I will keep slogging until I cannot do it anymore then take a long long break. Voted useful and thanks for this, found it on Google +!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 05, 2014:

Nikolic - I have definitely been in the same spot. Take care of yourself physically and well as mentally.

Nikolic Predrag from Serbia, Belgrade on February 05, 2014:

Reading your article, I recognized myself in all the details. I feel trapped. I'm working 13 hours a day, seven days a week and I have a ten days vacation per year. The job is extremely stressful. Helps me only my optimism and incredible energy I have. In my spare time I write and that helps me a lot to relax when I get home.

Like in other hubs, you did an excellent job on this hub. Wish you all the best.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 28, 2013:

ologsinquito -Yes, it can be very stressful. I'm so glad not to be in that mix any longer. Thanks for stopping by and pinning, commenting.

ologsinquito from USA on December 28, 2013:

Corporate life can be very stressful. I'm pinning this and voting it up.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 10, 2013:

Sinea - I have been there, and the feelings you express are something I recall too well. It's so hard to see when you're in the middle of it that there are better ways. I eventually switched gears and am happy now. I hope you are able to reconnect with yourself and the simple things that bring you happiness.

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on November 10, 2013:

You know you hit job burnout when the job you once loved, you dread. I've experienced it and it is an awful spot to find yourself in. You know that it isn't the've just put in way too many extra hours. After years, it takes its toll. Great hub. Voted up and useful!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 05, 2013:

rohanfelix - I absolutely agree with you. I definitely have been there and don't ever plan on going back. It's just not worth the health effects, both mental and physical. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Rohan Rinaldo Felix from Chennai, India on November 05, 2013:

Not a proper work-life balance can absolutely wreck one's sanity and suck the joy out of living. A very meaningful hub!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 15, 2013:

Crafty - Doesn't it seem like Law and Micromanagement go hand in hand? Just and observation! I have also been called on vacation. The only way I could truly get away was to leave the country and not take a cell phone or answer email. Aren't you glad not to have the corporate life anymore?

CraftytotheCore on October 15, 2013:

I can totally relate to this. Not only was my grandmother a micromanager, but then I worked in the stressful legal field for 12 years. I worked for two firms. The first one, the managing partner would call me on vacation! That drove me crazy.

My mother calls me high strung. I don't believe I am. I certainly move at a slower pace now that I'm no longer in corporate America. But at one time I was pushing 70 hours a week. The body keeps going on and on, and it's totally running on empty at that point.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 06, 2013:

Jatinder - Avoiding burnout is in everyone's best interest. Thank you for your comment and for reading.

Jatinder Joshi from Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada on October 06, 2013:

Great hub. While it is a good idea for the employee to recognise the symptoms of burnt out. It is equally important for the employer to ensure that he does not have/ create such an employee because a stressed out employee does not contribute his/ her optimum to the organisation.

Thus it is also in the organisation's interest to ensure healthy and motivated employees. Managers should look out for all the signs that you have listed under emotionally, behaviorally, cognitively and motivationally.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 06, 2013:

Duchess - So sorry you're feeling this way, but you are not alone. Just for the heck of it, put a resume together and apply to some jobs that interest you when you're feeling GOOD about yourself and your employers. Just for the heck of it, go on interviews for jobs you know you don't necessarily want (no pressure with how they turn out), as this will give you practice in interviewing for jobs you do care about. You never know -- something marvelous and unexpected could happen if you put yourself out there.

DuchessDuCaffeine from United States of America on October 05, 2013:

Well done,Flourish Anyway! You hit the nail on the head in this country, certainly. I work for a husband and wife team who own an in-home care giving company. They don't agree with each other let alone how to run the business except when something goes wrong and they are united against my office mate or me. we're able to laugh at most of it but sometimes the desire to leave without closing the door behind me is so strong. Both my friend at the office and I (it's a 2-girl sweat shop!) have each other's back and love the caregivers and clients. Some days, though--oh, brother! And reading ads for jobs is demoralizing.I feel as though I can't possibly do any of the things the job ad is asking for or I am convinced I'll be a total disappointment in the new job, unable to keep up or do the job at all. I know this isn't true. I know I have enough experience to handle almost any secretarial or escaped-zoo-animal scenario, and yet I'm sure that in a new job, I'll be a failure. That's it, I'm running away to follow the rodeo! Thanks for letting me vent in company that knows just what I'm saying :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 20, 2013:

Suzie - Thanks for reading and commenting. Everything has a silver living if you look hard enough. Just look at your accomplishments with your writing now! I bet you get so much more enjoyment out of doing what you do currently.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 20, 2013:

Hi Flourish,

What a fabulous comprehensive article! Incredible work and effort you have done. I have definitely been the victim of burnout in my last position which I felt I had to leave or I would not have survived. Hard for me to do that. I was a manager of a store and had been brought in to turn a failing business with a list of problems around. I regularly brought work home, answered emails in my own time, took phone calls on my days off and did paperwork. Micromanager was me too! Since giving it up I have changed considerably and found writing which I love. The passion, enthusiasm and old me is back with a vengance.

Thanks for including so many stats which are scary but so true.

Excellent article and so professionally executed.

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 09, 2013:

Shelley - 20 years is a long time, and life is too short not to be happy. It truly does sound like you were suffering burnout, and I am glad you had both the freedom and foresight to look for other options. Thank you for reading and commenting! Happy health to you.

Shelley Renee Rice from Topeka, Kansas on September 09, 2013:

I really enjoyed this article because I have been working on a job for 20 years and it came to the point that I was so full of stress and chaos that it was causing me health problems. I felt like I was trapped in a box and had nowhere to go. So I gave it up and decided to do something more productive and rewarding with my life. Because I feel like if you are not happy there, you need to move on to a better situation. Thnk You!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 09, 2013:

ChristyWrites - Thanks for visiting and commenting. Writers can definitely face burnout if we don't watch out. Supporting and encouraging one another can go a long way to help -- one of the reasons I enjoy the HubPages community!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on September 09, 2013:

Thank-you, I appreciate that you included writers in the group of occupations headed for burnout. I would add that it is likely having the pressure of producing 'creative' results in a successful way that has writers, actors and other entertainers in the danger zone for burnout.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 07, 2013:

Rose - Thank you for the kudos. Many people who work hard and pour themselves into their work experience burnout symptoms at some time or another. I sure wouldn't want to have the surgeon who was experiencing it though since performance suffers, too!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 07, 2013:

Heidi - Thanks for reading and commenting. I am also glad to have left corporate America. I agree that folks who are self-employed can also push themselves very hard. It's hard to set limits when you have no guarantees of a paycheck tomorrow.

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on September 06, 2013:

This is an amazing and insightful article! I think many individuals go through some sort of job burnout at some point. I thought you did a great job at profiling the various professions with the highest burnout rate. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 06, 2013:

I have to say that I'm so glad I'm no longer in corporate America! But I think even self-employed folks can get easily burned out, too. Sometimes oneself can be the absolute worst boss! (And it's really hard to fire yourself.) Thanks for a thorough discussion on this topic which is such a problem for so many!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 06, 2013:

epbooks - Thanks for stopping by, commenting and sharing! Your description of being "glued" to technology is so appropriate. People are so tuned in to their devices that it's hard to get through dinner, a personal conversation, or a movie without the hearing beeping, ringing, clicking of technology. All work and no play make us all stressed out.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on September 06, 2013:

What a fantastic hub! I think more and more employees are feeling this especially since we are all glued to our cell phones, paying attention to every email/text/call that comes through. Voted this up and shared and tweeted!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 05, 2013:

Crystal - I know exactly what you mean. Employers will let us work ourselves silly, but it's up to us to figure our how much is enough vs. too much. Figure out what is important to you and take care of yourself and your health. Thanks for commenting, reading, voting.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on September 04, 2013:

Very good hub, very thorough. I relate so much. I believe much of this has to do with management. Companies used to value good employees and treat them well, give them what perks they could.Now it doesn't matter how hard you work, there are no incentives. In my company, some people are allowed perks like working at home, while others have been told that is not allowed. The slackers get to work from home and the "critical" employees, who carry 80 percent of the workload, cannot. This is not a company policy but it's just the way it's done. So you get employees who are going home crying from being so stressed out and then those who spend most of their time on the golf course and come in for a couple hours. It's absolutely maddening! I recognize many of the symptoms here. I also agree that our society is too work obsessed. We're a bunch of white rabbits running around, late for a very important date, only we never seem to get where we're trying to go. I come home absolutely exhaused only to have to start all over the next day - it feels endless. Surely there must be more to life. Sorry for rambling - you really got me going. Voted up of course!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 04, 2013:

LKMore01 - Technology was supposed to make things easier, and in a lot of ways it has. But in our quest for more, bigger, faster we somehow lost sight of some of the things that matter. No one seems to know the difference between urgent, important, and optional. I can't imagine working a tech job -- I imagine it was constant crisis management. Hope you found a way through it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 04, 2013:

pinto2011 - Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 04, 2013:

Rajan - You are right. Writers, artists, consultants, and other self-employed people can certainly take their work to the extreme. When you're both the boss and the employee, it's a lot of pressure. Sometimes you can even do the work and find that getting paid is the tough part. Thank you for reading and commenting.

LKMore01 on September 04, 2013:

Excellent article, Flourish. Your HUB is comprehensive, detailed and extremely thoughtful. With all of the convenience that modern technology provides us it also creates more stress. You mentioned one major reason most of my co workers, supervisors and associates burned out in the early part of this decade in tech jobs. Always being connected to a cell phone or email is mentally exhausting. People need to know how to shut off and power down.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on September 04, 2013:

Very nice and informative.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 04, 2013:

Flourish, you have tackled the subject of job burnout in great detail. Sometimes self employed people too take their work to extremes causing self burnout.

Great job. Voted up and shared.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 04, 2013:

kidscrafts - Your situation is sadly not unusual. People overwork themselves trying to hang onto what they have. They are told they "must do more with less." They end up feeling like a shell of a human being. It's hard to see what you're doing to yourself when you're in the midst of it. I hope you have some peace and time for yourself now, kidscrafts. Thanks for visiting.

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on September 03, 2013:

Excellent hub, FlourishAnyway! A lot of people suffer burnout especially when people are afraid to lose their job; it's like a double stress because they work harder to avoid being fired and they are afraid of being without a job.

I had once a burnout when I was a teacher. I had a class of 35 students in grade 5 and I was also teaching visual art in grade 7 and 8 and.... on top of it I was in charge of the computers for the whole school. I had to take a rest of 3 weeks to be able to finish the school year!

In the present economy, when people are more vulnerable, people get sick more easily. I have a friend who has been pushed to burnout by her boss. Very sad!

It's interesting to see that whatever your profession, you can have a burnout!

Thank you for sharing this important hub!

Voted up, useful and very interesting!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 03, 2013:

Jeannieinabottle - I have a feeling you are way too talented anyway for whatever they have you doing. When employers don't recognize good employees, those employees either give up and phone it in or they head for the hills. Leave on your own terms when the time suits you. Thanks for reading.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on September 03, 2013:

I was burnt out long ago at my job, but nothing has ever been done about it. My manager has been aware of my feelings for quite some time now. Now, I basically do the bare minimum at the job to keep me sane. When I worked as much as possible and worked to the best of my ability, I never got promoted. So now, I just do the bare minimum and never get promoted either. There is no difference. Why work so hard for a company that does not appreciate me? In a better economy, I would have walked away from my dead end job long ago. More jobs are available now, so I have hope that I won't be at my current job for much longer anyway.

Great hub and voted up!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 03, 2013:

DDE - I'm sorry you experienced job burnout but glad that you were able to find a good solution for yourself. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 03, 2013:

Great hub I have experienced a stressful job, emotionally, physically and mentally I eventually quit couldn't take it anymore now I ma working for myself, tourism.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 02, 2013:

Prairieprincess - It takes some folks too long -- even a lifetime -- to discover that work can only bring so much satisfaction. The satisfaction of work really pales in comparison to that of being loved unconditionally. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you have a chance to unwind, relax and be with those you love this holiday weekend.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on September 01, 2013:

Great article that explains this issue in-depth. I love your saying, "work won't love you back." So true! I am guilty of overworking, often. I am a teacher, and it is overwhelming sometimes. Thank you for some great tips on avoiding burnout.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

Nell - Thanks for reading and commenting. Sounds like you were working yourself to death. Redundancy probably was a blessing in disguise, although it probably did not feel like it at the time. Hope you have a more peaceful pace now.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

bravewarrior - Sounds like a perfect recipe for burnout! Glad you found a sense of peace being your own boss. I found that when I was working in a pressure-cooker of a corporate environment I had to became one intense cookie with sharp edges myself to survive. There were not a lot of long-term employees I could trust. I just wasn't me, and even when I went on vacation it took me almost a week to return to my normal self away from corporate pressure. I worked in a pretty tough environment but now I'm free as a butterfly. Glad you found freedom too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Nell Rose from England on August 30, 2013:

Great article flourish, and yes I have come close to this in my life. I was working 8 hours a day, but without a break. Apart from lunch, the rest of the time was totally on the go. 4 computers, a printer, stuffing envelopes and answering phones, along with keying in addresses! this was day in day out, I was shattered. I was so glad to be made redundant!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Flourish, I not only felt job burnout, I felt company burnout. I was the accounting manager for a family owned construction company for 12 1/2 years. I loved my job until the office of president was turned over to the 3rd generation. The entire 'feel' that resulted in loyal employees who were respected for their contributions went to hell in a handbasket. The new president was unappreciative of the employees, withheld raises, yet owned 3 homes at the tender age of 32. Talk about resentment!

I got fed up and quit. Now I work for myself. I'm much nicer to me and much less stressed!

BTW, as usual, you did an excellent job on this hub.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

Vinaya - Take time for you so you can enjoy life so you don't burn out. Burnout takes a long time to recover from and can wreak havoc on the health, family and personal psyche. Have a good weekend. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on August 30, 2013:

I often feel job burnout. Thanks for sharing this good analysis.

PS: I appreciate your comments on my works. Thank you very much for following me. Cheers

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

Tom - Thank you for reading and commenting. Having investigated cases of harassment, discrimination, bullying, and just plain bad bosses I've seen that there are so many reasons people are burned out. Micromanagement is a big reason. Perspective is hard to gain when one is in the middle of a situation. You think if you can work harder, it'll be okay. Oftentimes these poor folks just need to disconnect and start over, but financially it's not always an option.

Tom rubenoff from United States on August 30, 2013:

Impressive article. Years ago I wrote about 'the verbally abusive boss' (not so well as you wrote this) and have been amazed ever since at the amazing variety of horror stories out there. Working for a living is hard enough without having a micro-managing, insecure boss making your life even harder. Thanks again for writing about this all-to-common problem.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

purl3agony - Balance in anything is important. It is difficult for each of us to imagine we are not really indispensable. My "had it" moment was when my boss called me at Disneyworld ... knowing I was already stressed and needed time to decompress. We can indeed take vacation. We can turn leave work at work. Kids grow up. Parents get older. Relationships need nurturing. Work with always be there. Thanks for reading and commenting!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

Mhatter99 - Glad you found a poetic outlet after all those years with the oil company.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2013:

Faith Reaper - Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. Mitch Albom's advice is good and reasonable but seldom heeded. I have been especially guilty of wrong priorities too in the past.

Donna Herron from USA on August 30, 2013:

Another well-researched hub! I don't think I've ever really experienced job burnout myself. But I work in the non-profit sector and I have seen people let their jobs destroy their health and their personal lives. For some reason, they put their job above everything else, including themselves.

Great hub! Voted up and will definitely share!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 29, 2013:

Thank you for this. I was extremely lucky.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 29, 2013:

Oops, I believe I am looking in a mirror reading all of this ... sigh : (

Yes, that microanager and all of the above, yet, I know I am blessed to even have a job! : )

Excellent article and I shall heed Albom's wise advice in his quote!

This should be hub of the day or night!

Voted up +++ and sharing

Bless you, Faith Reaper

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