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Woman holding head at a desk full of papers frustrated and burnt out.

When Burnout Is a Sign To Leave a Job

Dread heading to work every day? Don’t see the possibility of career advancement in your future? Is a negative work-life balance causing physical, mental, and emotional health issues? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be a sign you’ve reached job burnout.

Table of Contents
What Is Job Burnout?
When Job Burnout Means Leaving a Job
How To Overcome Burnout With a New Job

What Is Job Burnout?

Most employees have days when they feel tired, sick, and just don’t want to be productive. However, sometimes deeper exhaustion means something bigger. According to Harvard Business Review, burnout has three components: exhaustion (lost energy), cynicism (lost enthusiasm), and inefficacy (lost self-confidence and capacity to perform).

While normal tiredness might only last a few days, true burnout lingers for several weeks or months. The World Health Organization redefined “burnout” in 2019 as a syndrome that results from the mismanagement of chronic workplace stress. This new definition of job-related stress and burnout brought serious attention to the long-term effects of negative work environments.

Sometimes, burnout can be cured by a reduced workload, firmer work-life boundaries, or even a vacation. However, sometimes more drastic measures like finding a new job should be taken.

Components of burnout.

When Job Burnout Means Leaving a Job

Exactly when does extreme burnout mean leaving a job? When experiencing it is affecting your physical health, job performance, career prospects, mental health, and even close personal relationships, it’s time to look for a new role. If a team member feels exhausted, cynical, and ineffective, they might need more than a long weekend to reset their career.

Burnout quiz.
Burnout quiz part 2.

Friends and Family Notice Significant Changes in Behavior

The closest family members are often the first to notice something is wrong. If multiple friends and family members are remarking on changed behavior, it’s not a good sign. They might say the loved one seems negative, depressed, or exhausted and simply not enjoying things they once loved.

There Is No Passion for a Career Field

If a worker is lucky enough to feel confident that they are in the right field doing the work they love, it might be more of a job placement issue. However, if an employee is completely uninterested in work they once had a passion for, it might be time to ask, “Is this career burnout or the wrong job?” For example, if marketing specialists love the creativity, bustle, and excitement of public relations but can’t muster up any interest to attend a launch party, their current job might be draining that passion.

There Is No Path for Career Growth

If a job feels like a dead-end, it’s the fastest way to become burned out. Around 70% of employees say their job defines them, and when they don’t believe they can grow, learn, and move up, they feel stagnant. When employees feel like there’s no opportunity for promotion, their work quality inevitably suffers, leading to more negative consequences like termination or a demotion.

The Work-Life Balance Is Nonexistent

Roughly 83% of millennials say work-life balance is the most important factor in a job. If a job demands long hours tied to a desk with no paid time off, it’s only a matter of time before mental, physical, and emotional health suffer. Nothing burns out the best employee faster than never having time to recharge and relax so they can return to work refreshed.

An Employee Used To Be a High-Performer, and Now Their Work Quality Is Suffering

Forty percent of U.S.-based employees in the “The Great Resignation Update” survey said they left their job because of burnout. Burnout typically affects the highest-performing employees the worst as it greatly reduces the quality of their work, performance, and attitude. Managers and team members might start to notice a major change in behavior and perhaps even speak to the burned-out employee in a one-on-one setting.

How To Overcome Burnout With a New Job

If an employee constantly asks, “Do I have job burnout?” they probably already know the true answer. It might feel overwhelming to contemplate finding a new job while already feeling exhausted and drained; however, a new role can spark refreshed passion and interest, driving better performance and more work engagement, typically leading to a raise or promotion.

Starting a new job after burnout doesn’t have to be scary. Advantis Global can help candidates find a dream job in their ideal industry, with better benefits, pay, and potentially even a more senior position. Submit a resume or apply for a job to connect with a recruiter.

Woman holding head at a desk full of papers frustrated and burnt out.
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