You’re burned out at work, and you’re more than ready for a change. In fact, you’re afraid if something doesn’t change soon, it’s going to mean bad things for your health, your relationships, or you might simply snap.
But have you ever stopped to wonder if maybe it’s not you? Maybe it’s the job.
We hear things like “mid-life crisis” thrown around casually, but that term blames you – as if your age suddenly makes you incapable of dealing with normal life.
Maybe you’ve just grown tired of dealing with the same problems you’ve solved time and time again.
Maybe you’re discontent with the idea of spending so many more years of your life doing things that you don’t find exciting.
It’s time for new challenges. You’re ready to change things up and start living up to your potential.
Why is it that we believe when we’re in our 20’s we are supposed to be finding adventures in life, but when we’re in our 40’s and 50’s we think that our adventures are all washed up – and we’re supposed to be ok with that?
It’s just not true. We can still have and pursue dreams, no matter what our age. It’s natural to feel burned out after doing the same thing day after day for years – especially if you don’t love it. So why blame yourself? It’s time to forgive yourself and move on so you can start feeling better, live up to your potential, and do what you’re here to do.
Burn Out = Transition
Is it time for things in YOUR life to change? Have you come to the point where the stress of living with a job that’s boring, difficult, unrewarding, dissatisfying, demeaning or otherwise not living up to your standards is effecting your relationships with friends and family, your mental and physical health, your sense of well being and your sense of the impact you can have on the world? And are you losing faith that you can handle this stress on your own?
It’s difficult to extract yourself from a less than ideal job situation and more difficult still to land a job or start a business that you love. But there is hope and help.
Steps to Ending Work Burn Out
We’ve all heard the tips about getting more sleep, leaving earlier, and unplugging from electronics. Working less certainly helps. But if you’re in the wrong job to begin with, that only prolongs the problem, it doesn’t solve it.
Here’s how you can really get to the bottom of it.
1. Stop blaming yourself for your burnout at work and take it as a sign that something in your life is stagnant and needs to change. Try to let go of the worry that you’re “losing it,” getting too old, or that something’s wrong with you, and focus instead on the fact that this is a life transition time, like any other.
2. Talk about it. Nothing feels worse than having a problem you feel you need to keep to yourself. Find someone who can support you and listen as you sort out how you feel and what you want. Make it normal. When you do it, you’ll be surprised how many others will be relieved that you did, and how relieved you’ll feel to have gained some support.
3. Understand your desires. All of them. You may have desires that conflict – like leaving and staying (even if it’s just for the paycheck). You may also not quite know what you want next, or what would be best for you. All of this may take some time to sort out, but once you do you’ll have a brand new adventure to undertake which will certainly put an end to your boredom. If you think of the time it takes to sort it out as an adventure as well, that can alleviate your burn out. Think of today as day one of your journey to something much, much better!
4. Explore the range of what’s possible. We all put unnecessary limitations on ourselves. But if we let ourselves really explore what’s possible, it can be very liberating and very, very exciting. When you think of something you might want, ask yourself: “Why not?” When you begin to take your dreams seriously, that’s the moment they become real.
5. Make a plan. This is where the rubber meets the road – where the work comes in. But you’ll feel better about your current job knowing you’re actually doing something to move forward with getting yourself out and to something you like better, instead of just putting a Band-Aid over the problem. Make a plan that covers all your bases in terms of what you want and need (what you want to be doing, what you need to be making, and any other factors your situation calls you to consider.)
A New Adventure
Feeling less burned out at work is not about shifting your perspective about your current job as much as it is about realizing that you have every right to want and need something different at this point in your life, and that you are responsible for going out there and getting it.
These 5 steps will help you through the process of transitioning to what is right for you now, so you can do what feels challenging, meaningful and impactful – not continuing to take on the same challenges of years ago that no longer excite you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!