From the American Counseling Association
Do you look forward to going to work each day? Do you find that most days your job gets better, more
interesting and challenging, and that you leave at night feeling satisfied about what you’ve accomplished?
Or are you like many people who find their work situations don’t bring such satisfaction, but rather
boredom and frustration? It’s often not the kind of work, or the job title, but rather work-related stress that’s
causing the problem.
Experts call it “job burnout” and it’s fairly common. It happens when your job seems to offer no hope
or future, and most workdays leave you feeling frustrated, discouraged, and fatigued.
Such a work environment can affect not simply your job performance but your entire life. And because
it can cause serious problems, job burnout needs to be recognized and dealt with early. Some signs include:
• Once-challenging work activities now seem common drudgery.
• Co-workers, bosses or the overall company make you feel bitter or easily annoyed.
• Your job seems more boring every day.
• You care less about doing a good job.
• You dread going to work and find Sundays depressing because the next day means work.
• You lack energy at work and are easily tired.
• Your work frustrations are starting to affect parts of your life, like your marriage and relationships
• with your children or friends.
While recognizing the signs of job burnout is important, dealing with the problem can be difficult.
While a new job seems the obvious answer, issues such as your age, education, work experience or the current economy can all make even considering new employment very challenging.
However, a new job isn’t always the answer. Sometimes simply identifying the causes of your
problems can offer solutions. Maybe it means talking to a supervisor, or taking on new responsibilities. Your
company’s human resources department may be able to help with the issue. Job burnout needn’t mean
changing careers, but does require identifying the source of your current burnout.
Professional help is available through a career counselor. They specialize in helping people gain
control over their working lives, as well as in identifying interests and skills related to work and career
planning. You can find career counselors listed online, in your local yellow pages, or at the National Career
Development Association’s website at www.ncda.ogr. Don’t ignore job burnout until it’s a serious problem.
Counseling Corner” is provided by the American Counseling Association. Comments and questions to
ACAcorner@counseling.org or visit the ACA website at www.counseling.org