Millennial jobs are highly demanding. Regardless of how passionate you are, it isn’t unusual to experience lack of motivation and a reduced sense of purpose at some point in your career.
No – it does not mean you got your calling wrong. What you’re experiencing is a common phenomenon called workplace burnout.
“Burnout is very real and definitely occurs to people at least once in their working life, regardless of how much they love their work”, says Vikram Rajput, 29, from Pune.
Irrespective of your age, your domain, your experience, your shift, your peers and your organisation of choice, it is bound to cross paths with you. Multiple causes, one severe impact: a relentless feeling of mental exhaustion, lack of motivation and an absence of productive outputs.
“As a huge organisation, we understand the importance of managing burnout. Our HR policies are geared towards open communication with employees, encouraging them to maximise their well being and efficiency simultaneously. This is something that all organisations, big and small, should consider in their policy making”, says Govind Sharma, former HR manager of Sony Music India.
Simply put, burnout is a byproduct of stress at the workplace. While experts debate on whether burnout can be diagnosed as an ‘illness’, they do agree that it can predominantly be ‘identified’ when it affects a person.
A ‘burnt out’ person will be visibly exhausted, will try to alienate himself/herself from work-related activities, and most significantly, will be unable to perform as expected.
If you ever feel like you’re working because you have to and not because you want to, here’s how you should manage the stress so you don’t hit rock bottom at work.
1. Optimise your wellbeing
Don’t get so caught up in work that you overlook your wellbeing. Pay attention to your physical, emotional and psychological health. Get adequate nourishment and stay fit to the best of your ability. Deal with emotional turbulence quickly and nurture critical relationships.
Charmi Vijayakar, 31, from Mumbai, who’s been there done that, adds, “It’s pretty normal to feel burnt out in my opinion. Just ensure you introspect on your own state of professional wellness every now and then, and nip it in the bud rather than let it foster.”
2. Break often
Disconnect yourself, and when you do, make sure you finish or delegate your work and switch off. If vacations don’t come along too often in your line of work, at least take short 15-minute breaks at work to do something you enjoy (watch videos, go for a quick stroll, or take a chai break).
3. Find intra-job efficiency
Seek clarity on expectations and be sure about workplace responsibilities. Try your hand at new things in your job to manoeuvre past the obstacles of monotony and boredom.
4. Look beyond yourself
It’s perfectly acceptable to take help from peers and superiors when needed. Try counselling, take help for tasks that are beyond you. Learn new things, take courses in managing stress, change what you can and adjust to what you can’t.
5. Be open to the new
Keep an open mind. Find a new role within the current job or find a new workplace altogether. Attempt to rediscover what motivates you, it may pleasantly surprise you. Above all, don’t act on impulse and take rash decisions; take the time you need to figure it out.
Burnout builds over time. Detect it sooner and remedy it quicker.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar