Is Job Burnout Inevitable?

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If you’ve been working the same job for a number of weeks or months, non-stop, it’s difficult to avoid feelings of intense exhaustion. Feeling exhausted and craving a break is natural, but if you continue to work at your physical and mental limits without slowing down or stopping, you’ll inevitably hit a slump.

What kind of a slump? The intense, inexplicable exhaustion that goes right to your core, an exhaustion that makes you loathe the work you were once passionate about doing. You just want to disappear. Simply put, burnout—a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion brought on by constant pressure and stress.

Losing steam is something all of us experience in our careers—even the most passionate professionals among us who bag all the awards and appraisals. Burnout indicators generally include intense, persistent fatigue, mood swings, difficulty sleeping and widespread negative feelings.

At some point in our careers, we’ve all experienced this. Toxic work cultures, unrealistic expectations and increased competition have elevated stress to unprecedented levels, resulting in people feeling constantly overwhelmed and incompetent—even at jobs they love.

Is burnout inevitable? Are even the most fulfilled and happiest individuals condemned to a life of loathing and misery? Well, perhaps not.

Understanding and recognizing the warning signs of impending burnout can help you prevent it from settling in. Know when it’s time to slow down, and don’t be afraid to put your mental and physical well-being before all else—even your performance at work. At the end of the day, it’s your health that matters the most, not that bonus.

Check In On Yourself

People who put in long, difficult shifts tend to lose sight of who they are. Their interests, passions and hobbies take a back seat to their jobs. Don’t let this happen. Slow down and give time to things that make you happy.

Take A Few Days Off

Make sure you use up your allowable leave, even if you don’t plan on going somewhere for a vacation. Just use the time to relax and recuperate.

Switch Things Up

Making minor changes to your daily environment and routine can go a long way toward freshening things up. Some examples include rearranging your workspace, changing your route to the office and joining a workout class.


Don’t be afraid to talk about it and share how you feel; chances are, you’re not alone. Sometimes a break in the form of an outside voice like a professional corporate speaker is what it takes. Sometimes, it’s your own. If you notice your team is slowing down and needs a little push, Steve Gilliland is the comedy motivational speaker you need. A Hall of Fame Speaker, Steve’s unique virtual experience elevate growth and learning.

“Only one word can describe your virtual presentation on Thursday afternoon…Incredible!” said the Chester County Intermediate Unit after hiring Steve for their recent event.