The Paths to Burnout


Another Monday, another audio postcard! It’s a quick and fun way for me to share my thoughts with you on certain topics about work and life.

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Today's audio postcard is about burnout and what I've learned how we get there.

Once you've had a chance to listen, I'd love to hear from you. Which path have you taken to burnout in the past? And do you do things differently now as a result of your experience? Please comment below and share your experience.

Postcard Summary

Lately, I've had the opportunity to talk to people about their experiences with burn out, their struggles with work-life balance and finding time for self-care. I've noticed some themes pop up in terms of the way that people arrive in burn-out town. (Because nobody sends themselves there on purpose, right?)

So far, I've discovered two paths.

Working your face off

The first path I've discovered is what I call the work your face off path.  This involves prolonged, intense overwork. Burning the candle at both ends. That 24/7 hustle that seems to be so valued in our culture now.

You’re always working. Always available. In constant response mode - to all the emails, text, pings and dings.

You’ve accepted that this is just how it is. There are no limits or boundaries around your work. Because that’s the way everyone is doing it.

But as humans, we’re not 24/7 work machines - that’s not how we’re built.

All work. No play. Yada, yada. I know you’ve heard that one before.

The stressful workplace

The second path is what I’m calling the workplace stress path.  This is about the challenges and limitations of the organization you work for.

You don't have full control over your work.

Your values don’t match up with the values of your company, or the organization’s leader, your boss, your coworkers. And this conflict creates a slow, steady build up of resentment and frustration over time.

You're not given the freedom to do your work in the way you want to and need to.

The expectations of you are unclear. The goalposts are always moving. Ugh!

The combo deal

I've walked each of these paths in past jobs, maybe you have too. And sometimes it’s a combination of the two.

Sprinkle in some 24/7 hustle, add a dash of unclear expectations, and voila! You have a recipe for the combo path.