I have almost lost the plot this morning at work. How did I avoid the burnout? Here’s how…
I have a job that entails me doing specific tasks and receiving a salary for them at the end of the month. I do them well and I try my best to make my customers and my bosses happy. My bosses must think I am THAT good that they ask me to do more than what my job entails. It’s ok, I am always up for a challenge, the possibility to learn and grow.
Some days, I hit a wall and I get close to smashing the computer screen. I am minutes from leaving everything and shouting “you’re not paying me to do that”. You might think I overreact. Let me tell you I am one of the most docile people ever.
The question is why do I sometimes get to this and how do I manage to avoid losing the job that currently pays my rent?
What causes a burnout?
I am human and I can only take a certain level of pressure. No matter how much I can say “I work well under pressure” at an interview, there is a limit. It usually implies that I work well under the pressure that I know how to relieve. Either because the skills I need to complete the tasks are in my reach, because I can organize myself and make sure I can do everything I have set myself to do.
What if people have higher expectations of you than what you can actually do?
First, breathe. The moment you hit the wall, you will have forgotten how to inhale or exhale. Second, put things back into perspective. This is A JOB and unless you’re a surgeon, nobody is dying from the fact that you are not picking up the next call or answering the email in the next minute.
The pressure tends to build up when we lose sight of our calm and sense of priority.
How to deal with it on the long-term?
Share your thoughts with someone who understands you. I don’t like complaining but it’s ok to vent to someone who will be there to listen to what you have to say.
Don’t get too caught up in the bad vibe. It’s a bad day/hour but it’s not a bad life. Complaining all the time about something makes it feel endless. Even if talking is an option, don’t dwell on sharing why you hate your day job. Learn to accept the things as they are and better yet, start planning your next move.
Have a goal ready to live the situation you’re currently in. Whenever I get caught up in my feelings, I remember that it’s a problem only if I stay in the current situation. I don’t HAVE TO stay working here. I can quit. Mind you, I have no money to survive but in times of need, that’s when we become resourceful.
I don’t actually have to quit now. What about applying other places while staying? What about focusing on the things that matter the most? It is tiring. It is difficult to dedicate the same amount of focus for a 9 to 5 job and then use the rest of the time to work on the side hustle.
Unfortunately, that’s the only way to progress. Grit your teeth. Be ready for shorter nights, less going out, more planning and a lot of dedication. But at least, know that focusing on what matters to you will give you the satisfaction of trying to improve your life.
I almost lost it this morning but then I wrote this article. Do I still work at a company I am not 100% happy at? Yes. Can I try to make a difference and do something productive about it? Yes, I did. I had to take a deep breath and get on with it.