January 16, 2017 - Posted to Job Interview
Are you feeling tired when faced with going into your workplace? Is the thought of another day of sitting behind your desk causing you stress or headaches? Have you been feeling that you are ineffective in the job you were hired to do, and have a hard time getting motivated? There is a name for what you are feeling. You may be suffering from psychological occupational burnout.
When you are an Alpha male or female, which is a person that has the “I can do it all” persona, there may be times when you will feel this burned-out state of mind. The truth of the matter is, you are human and cannot do it all.
High achievers experience this psychological problem more often than others and are cautioned to put it in check as soon as you realize you are going through it. The problem is, it is a sneaky poison that creeps up on you without you realizing it until you are in the full throes of its binds. Some of the main characteristics are:
- You become overly cynical- nothing is good enough anymore. Life is not living up to what you thought it would be. You feel guilty for not having done more than what you have done so far in your life.
- You become detached from your family and co-workers- You start declining invitations to festive events, and spend more time curled up in bed than enjoying time with friends
- You are emotionally and physically exhausted (no you do not need another cup of coffee)-
Your physical health may be affected with:
- Chest pains- do not write this off as indigestion. There is a significant rise in those that suffer heart attacks that is associated with professional burnout.
- Heart palpitations, racing pulse with the absence of exercise.
- Shortness of breath (anxiety attacks) and headaches. Do you find you are reaching for aspirin or other pain relievers more often?
- Loss of appetite- are you losing weight without trying? See you doctor this could be other physical ailments besides loss of appetite.
- Calling in sick- suddenly you are using up your sick days. This state of mind lowers your immune system. What may seem like flu symptoms, muscle pain and aches, is usually the psychological effects of the burnout.
Your emotional health may include:
- Feelings of immediate dread and hopelessness (if you feel that you don’t deserve to live, you need professional help)
- Depression in stages- sometimes you may just feel a little down then suddenly you are in tears and don’t know why.
- Memory loss- this can happen due to other illnesses but when it is associated with other symptoms on this list it is possibly from burnout.
- Increase in alcohol intake, and doing it alone. Drinking alone is a big sign that you may be depressed and in need of help, especially if you are drinking large quantities.
- You become overly critical of those around you. You end up in confrontations with those that you normally had good relationships with.
- None of your days are good days any longer- we all have bad days, but in this state of mind all your days seem full of dread and unending doubt and despair.
What Causes the Burn
Once you realize that you have professional burnout, turn to the culprits that may be causing it and see what can be eliminated. Some of these reasons may be:
- Underappreciation for work- there is no one saying “job well done”
- Non-recognition for your work- you work for others that take the credit
- You take on more than your share of the work
- You rarely take time to enjoy your social life
- You do not sleep enough hours
Your alpha personality could be the root cause of your burnout. Most alpha males and females are:
- High achievers
- Rarely delegate work to others
- Don’t see the good in their work, they criticize condemn and complain
It is time to get help if you are experiencing the signs of professional burnout. There is nothing wrong with getting professional help. This does not mean you are weak, on the contrary, those that seek help are those that have the courage to know when they need help and get it.
The very first thing that is suggested is that you come outside of yourself. Those of us that are type A personalities and suffer from burnout usually just need a jolt of socialization to kick start our recovery.
Although the phone may seem like it weighs a ton, pick it up and call a close friend. Tell them you need them to listen while you just talk. You don’t have to pick any subject, just start talking. Before you know it, you will be pouring your heart out to this person and your entire self will feel so much better.
This may seem like a simple solution, but the simpler solutions are usually for the most complicated people in the world, and that is the Alpha persona. After your initial conversation do the following:
- Have a gathering of friends and family at your home. Cook for them.
- Begin delegating work to others at your company
- Talk to your boss, tell him that you need validation. (if necessary, find other employment)
- Find a self-help group, or books dedicated to this problem. Groups are better because of the social aspect.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter or hospital. Begin around those less fortunate than ourselves and helping them out is a big pick me up. It shows you what you must be grateful for.
- Develop an attitude of gratitude. Look around you and think of what you should be thankful for instead of what you do not have or have not achieved
Following these suggestions will put you on the road to recovery. There is always help in numbers.