In a clinical sense, burnout is characterized by, a heightened sense of cynicism, or a loss of personal efficacy. Researchers claim you must experience two of the three characteristics to be dealing with clinical burnout. This trend seems to be happening earlier and earlier in young professional lives, with a particular affect on Millennials. Why?
Millennials deal with a greater expectation of “round-the-clock” work. Also, Millennials tend to value meaningful work more than any other generation. Burnout is much more expected if someone is working a job radically out of alignment with their life values. The combination of long hours, and constant, unfulfilling work usually results in the characteristics of burnout: exhaustion, cynicism, a loss of personal efficacy.
So how does one prevent burnout? Dana Campbell offered these three tips:
Define what “success” means to you. The definition of success should be holistic- not just career related. What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?
Realize that you are not your work. Your personal identity is not found in your corporate title.
Stop listening to what everyone else thinks you should do, and figure out what it is that you are passionate about. Follow the thing that gives you the greatest sense of joy.
These tips extend beyond preventative burnout. Also, don’t be fooled into believing that Millennials are the only generation that faces burnout. These characteristics can be true for anybody. If you believe you are facing burnout, then here are the two tips Dana Campbell extends to you:
Care for your nervous system. If you are in a sense of burnout, then your body is in fight-or-flight mode due to a heightened sense of anxiety and stress. Caring for your nervous system can best be done through conscious relaxation or restorative yoga.
Forgive yourself. You aren’t alone. In fact, according to statistics, half of your co-workers are dealing with the same problem. Take steps towards a better life.
The most important takeaway I gained from Dana Campbell’s podcast was this: don’t be afraid to chase after what you really want. Life is too short to pursue unfulfilling dreams.