BEATING BURNOUT: 5 Telltale Signs You’re Burned Out At Your Job And What To Do About It

By Josselyne Herman-Saccio: Communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark.

Do you ever feel stressed out, frustrated, negative, uninspired or just plain stuck in your job? Many people have such feelings from time to time. However, if this is your experience of your worklife every day, it is a sign you may be burned out and need to do something about it.

So what are the signs you have hit the burnout wall? You may be burned out at your job if you:

  1. Repeatedly complain
  2. Frequently participate in gossip and don’t enjoy being with your co-workers
  3. Dread going to work and/or are chronically late
  4. Are overly tired and feel trapped/stuck with no place to go
  5. Cut corners, tell lies (however small) to cover yourself and are just not doing as good job as you know you can do

Regardless of what signs you may be experiencing, there are two questions to ask yourself: What’s the source of your burnout, and what’s the solution? Usually you can point to one of three sources. Fortunately, there are things you can do to take action and overcome burnout in each:

1. Not being connected to what really matters to you. A question you can ask yourself is, what does working at this job make possible for you that wouldn’t be possible if you didn’t? The answer may be something as basic as paying your bills, or an idea that drives your sense of purpose, such as providing people with a service that makes a difference in their lives or solutions that they would not otherwise have. Whatever it is, see if you can reconnect to what really matters to you. Think back to before you were feeling burned out, to a point where you felt turned on by the job. Simply reconnecting with your passion can often make burnout disappear.

2. Lack of integrity in your job: Say you have not gotten a bunch of stuff done. Now you are looking for reasons why your job is the problem rather than you not handling what needs to be done. Any time you have incomplete things at work it will sap your energy and put you in burnout mode. A great way to resolve this is to make a list of everything not done or not complete. Get it on paper and out of your head. Deal with each item by scheduling it, doing it or being clear that you will not be doing it. That way you can take that pile of energy-sapping

incompletions away and free-up space you can use to create. This also helps you to focus on what’s next rather than being in a constant catch-up mode.

3. Getting stuck in complaint mode. Everyone has complaints about their work. But if you spend a lot of your time talking about them, to yourself or to others, it will quickly send you to burnout. The most powerful way to deal with complaints is to turn them into requests. We are not great at making requests because we think people should know what we want, or what we deserve. If you make a powerful request, you will either get a yes, no or counter offer — but in any event, you will have dealt with it rather than passively sat and been disempowered. When we make requests rather than voice complaints to others or ourselves, we can are taking action in those areas that are not working, rather than dwelling unproductively on what is not working.

Remember, complaints produce burnout. Actions produce results. By making requests instead of complaining, you are not only taking action, but also doing your part to create a more nurturing, positive work environment.


Josselyne Herman-Saccio is a communication expert with Landmark, a personal and professional growth, training and development company that’s had more than 2.4 million people use its programs to cause breakthroughs in their personal lives as well as in their communities, generating more than 100,000 community projects around the world. In The Landmark Forum, Landmark’s flagship program, people cause breakthroughs in their performance, communication, relationships and overall satisfaction in life. For more information, please visit www.LandmarkWorldwide.com.
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