Four Ways Job Burnout Can Destroy Your Career

Updated October 5, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Do You Feel Your Are Headed Towards Job Burnout?

Hard work and dedication to your career are admirable traits. No matter what line of work you’re in, commitment, time, and sacrifice each matter when striving towards professional advancement.

With that being said, too much of a good thing can very quickly become toxic. There’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself from time to time. However, it’s essential to make sure that you don’t push yourself to the point of reaching job burnout.

Job burnout has a way of sneaking up on people. It doesn’t usually just happen all at once. More often than not, there are gradual steps and patterns that transpire on a consistent basis. Over time, these unhealthy patterns lead to job burnout and subsequent fallout.

A Quick Word About Job Burnout

The American Psychological Association explains that job burnout is linked to a series of health hazards; physical impairments, poor workplace performance, and even mental health breakdowns are just the tip of the iceberg. When attempting to meet a certain goal or deadline, it can be tempting to try to push through job burnout, but this is notably ill-advised.

Due to the inherently destructive nature of job burnout, it has the power to destroy your career. With that being said, understanding the disruption that job burnout can bring is one of the best ways to nip it in the bud and even recognize certain warning signs.

Taking a step back or even putting a pause on certain projects is always better than burning yourself out and having your career suffer.

How Can Job Burnout Destroy Your Career?

The havoc wreaked by job burnout will impact you both personally and professionally. In order to excel at your job, you need to be capable of functioning on an individual level. Without being able to thrive mentally, emotionally, and physically, your career is going to take some hits. Ongoing hits without any changes can rapidly turn into the end of your career.

With that in mind, knowing the following ways job burnout can destroy your career will make a significant difference in your life.

Struggles with Fatigue

By the time job burnout strikes, so will fatigue. Signs that you are suffering from fatigue include experiences of tiredness, heightened irritation, concentration issues, a lack of memory, etc., as explained by the National Institutes of Health.

As you can imagine, these experiences are not the making of a successful career. In any job, business, or line of work, the capacity to maintain and get ahead demands a clear head. The ability to perform well in the workplace matters, but by the time you’re burned out, fatigue will prevent you from functioning properly.

Constant Stress

Similarly to fatigue, stress is an inherent consequence of job burnout, and it, too, has the power to destroy your career. What’s most ironic is that stress caused by job burnout can easily be mistaken as higher levels of commitment to your career. Pushing yourself to take another meeting or work extra hours isn’t inherently wrong; however, constant stress will eventually interfere with the quality of your work.

As stress erodes your work performance, making good decisions, controlling your temper, and going through the process of building a career becomes much harder. If job burnout continues for extended periods of time, this will only increase the likelihood of your career taking hits before succumbing to destruction.

Alienation of Coworkers/Clients/Partners

Virtually every line of work requires interacting with other people, whether those people are your coworkers, clients, or business partners. In order to successfully work with others, being on your A-game, maintaining deadlines, and following through on commitments are imperative. There are some cases where people manage to hide job burnout from those close to them, but eventually, the symptoms begin to manifest.

One of the worst aspects of job burnout is its tendency to go unrecognized. If you are burned out from your job, this may lead you to lash out at coworkers, fail to meet deadlines set by clients, or desert commitments that you and your business partners agreed to. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, although ongoing slip-ups, such as the aforementioned, will eventually alienate the people you work with. Similar to stress and fatigue, alienation of coworkers, clients, and/or partners can destroy your career.

Physical Incapacitation

Most jobs require some degree of physical movement, even if said movements are mild. Job burnout is immensely dangerous because, in its worst stages, it has the power to physically incapacitate you.

Psychology Today notes the several ways that job burnout can stop you from moving; just a few examples include chest pain, fainting, and a weakened immune system. Without a strong immune system, your physical body becomes more vulnerable to diseases that can incapacitate you or even kill you.

Stopping Job Burnout Before It Destroys Your Career

Suffice it to say, job burnout is not suitable for you or your career.

Healthy Management of Stress

Left unchecked, stress can quickly turn into burnout, which can then destroy your career. While many working people encounter stress at one point or another, your chosen manner of handling this stress is what will ultimately make the most significant difference. The healthy management of stress will enable you to get find a constructive outlet that benefits your own wellbeing. Some of the most popular ways of managing stress include meditation, exercise, deep breathing, journaling, etc.

Communicating Your Limits

Often in your career, the temptation to take on more than you can handle can be quite strong. The reasons behind this are understandable, but regularly overfilling your plate is a recipe for job burnout and disaster. To prevent or stop job burnout, you need to be upfront with coworkers, clients, and/or business partners about your limits. You can do this in a respectful way, but it’s essential to know that upfront communication about your limits is OK.

Knowing When to Take a Break

No matter what field you’re in, it’s important for you to know that taking a break from time to time is alright. When you have a big project ahead of you or are trying to impress a boss or client, there’s often a temptation to put off rest periods. Pushing yourself every so often is fine, but knowing when to take a break is imperative.

Breaks don’t inherently conflict with your workplace productivity; as a matter of fact, a short time away from the job can actually improve your quality of work. Taking a break can be as simple one day off, going on a walk once a day, or finding other healthy outlets that work well for you. Regardless of which path you choose, the ability to take a break has the power to prevent or stop job burnout.

How to Ask for Help

Whether you’re dealing with job burnout or an entirely different issue, you should know that there’s never any shame in asking for help. Seeking guidance from others comes with many benefits: progressing at a faster rate, gaining new insight into your situation, and strengthening your bonds with others are just a few examples. 

If you feel comfortable and ready to ask for help, keeping all your options open will be good for you. Seeking help from relatives, friends, and others is excellent, as is turning to a counselor or therapist. You should also know that counseling and therapy come with a plethora of advantages. Some of the many benefits include better communication skills, a more optimistic outlook on life, and unique feedback that applies to your situation.

Online Therapy with BetterHelp

Do You Feel Your Are Headed Towards Job Burnout?

No matter what you’re up against in your career, work-life, or personal life, it’s important to understand the positive impacts of professional help. Unlike more traditional forms of therapy and counseling, BetterHelp does not ask you to disrupt your schedule or commitments.

Signing up for online counseling with BetterHelp ensures that you get high-quality care from a licensed and caring professional. If you live in a remote area, travel frequently, or otherwise have a busy schedule, then online counseling could be especially advantageous to you.

Here at BetterHelp, we can commit to working with you on the dates and times that are most convenient for you. Online counseling doesn’t mean that your struggles or problems will instantly vanish; however, BetterHelp can aid you in overcoming these hurdles.

Asking for help is never anything to be ashamed of; neither is working with an online counselor. Moreover, seeking help when you know that it can be of value to you is one of the bravest and most self-aware things you can do. As you work with an online counselor, you may wind up learning more about yourself, your life, and how certain decisions impact your experiences.

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