Job Burnout: How To Spot It And Take ActionWritten by Olha on April 14th, 2015
Easier said than done, yeah? How could an enthusiastic person passionate about his/her job not put in long hours? Who cares? One caveat: you risk burning out.
In this article I’d like to focus on software development ninjas and, perhaps, debunk the ancient stereotype about them. Most people perceive IT guys as nerds living behind computers. Nothing of the kind. Meetings, communication with teammates and customers are an integral part of their day. Plus, continual self-improvement to keep up to date; conferences, workshops. In a word, hectic lifestyle. Under such conditions, burnout is not uncommon.
Watch Out! Signs of burnout:
Exhaustion – both physical and emotional
Disengagement and frustration: I don’t see any sense and value in what I’m doing. That makes my work a string of repetitive actions.
Negative attitude to work, colleagues and customers: Dissatisfaction with oneself affects surrounding. Even worse, such a state is infectious. If a person already faces burnout, s/he can openly depreciate whole team – or even company – effort.
Prevention is better than cure
Be sure to know the enemy by sight.
There are a few factors that may contribute to such devastation:
Unclear goals and job expectations:
Recipe: set performance standards for yourself – aim to beat your previous record, or set up a friendly competition among co-workers.
Excessive workload + work-life IMbalance:
Recipe: plan some time off – change surrounding, take short breaks during a day. Find extracurricular activity.
Tip: Don’t just force your brain – force your muscles as well! Remember that variety is a spice of life, and placing entire self into your work may be threatening.
Lack of recognition and control:
A single timely ‘thank you’ can go a long way!
Recipe: Do your best and let go of the aspects you can’t control.
If you don’t get any feedback, ask for it yourself! Perceive negative feedback as an opportunity to make improvements. However, if you hear not a good word, maybe you are in a wrong place.
Recipe: bring challenge and variety into your work environment – Cross train and learn new skills, teach others, Volunteer to take on new tasks or restructure your current ones if you are overstressed.
Alternatively, consider a pet project.
Poor communication with colleagues:
Recipe: we spend ⅓ of the lifetime at work, so there is a point in making it a fun place.
A team that plays together stays together! Plan some socializing events, have a good laugh and build trusting relationships.
That said, it is important not to keep the problem to yourself. Admit it, voice it and seek support from others.
NB: You can only burn-out if you’ve been alight.
To find out more about stress management techniques following the link.
Are you at risk for burnout? Test your situation and find out by passing self-diagnostic test!