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Breaking the Stigma of Job Burnout

The more that the fast-paced, goal-driven, and workaholic nature of the society we live in today is romanticized, the more it is believed that stress and exhaustion are the sole indications of progress and success. As if being unhealthy and having job burnout is something to be proud of when it is actually the opposite. Even while the judgments have become normalized, they should under no circumstance be used to define people. The highest form of pride and sense of accomplishment anyone can have at work is genuine job contentment, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and mastering how to manage stress at work.

What is Job Burnout?

Despite the stigma and skepticism it carries, job burnout is a serious issue that no one should disregard. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2019) describes burnout as an occupational phenomena that is not classified as a medical condition. It is a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” (WHO, 2019).

In short, burnout is a condition that only presents itself in an occupational setting, otherwise known as the workplace. This is typically the result of your ongoing stress from work, which you may not have managed well or at all. This just serves as proof that the stress you experience at work—especially the excessive stress—must be appropriately managed or it will have an adverse effect on your health.

What are the Symptoms of Job Burnout?

To make it easier for people to understand and comprehend what job burnout is, according to WHO (2019) and Boston University (2022), it is divided into three categories: (1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; (2) increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism relating to one's job; and (3) reduced professional efficacy.

Burnout is characterized as having a prolonged and persistent form of Energy Depletion or Exhaustion. The kind of fatigue and weariness that is lasting and affects you both mentally and physically. It “does not go away after a vacation, and it is not [related] to a particular project or deadline,” organizational psychologist Constance Noonan Hadley (2022) said. Other symptoms, according to BetterUp (2021), include feeling exhausted despite getting enough sleep, the inability to relax, changes in sleeping habits, physical ailments, becoming more frequently ill, skipping meals, and feeling listless.

Depersonalization and Cynicism are associated with both a sense of disconnection and a change in how you view your work. It is the change from formerly enjoying your profession to being more detached from it. This can also be seen as avoidance, irritability, procrastination, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, arriving late or leaving work early, cynicism, and trouble following through or completing tasks, in Hadley’s words (2022): “What used to motivate and inspire you about your job no longer has the same effect.”

Reduced Efficacy indicates a change in behavior and perspective toward your job. Perhaps a decline or depletion in the quality of your work performance, whether or not it is apparent, would be a more concise description. It is also possible for someone to work harder while still performing at a subpar level. Further concerning indicators include difficulty communicating with coworkers, delays in accomplishing critical tasks, a lack of interest in advancing your education and expanding your skills, focusing on other projects while at work, and feeling lost or disconnected in meetings.

What Can You Do to Lessen Your Job Burnout?

Since the majority of individuals—if not all of them—work to secure a comfortable livelihood. Many people typically suppress their feelings and delay dealing with them until the issue has drastically become worse when they are dissatisfied at work or begin to dislike their job. Burnout is a temporary condition that can always be treated effectively. It can be minimized, managed, or handled in a number of ways, regardless of how difficult it may seem.

  1. Stay True to Your Feelings – Pay attention to your feelings and emotions, accept them wholeheartedly, and work from there (e.g.Taking time off of work when you feel burdened).

  2. Set Boundaries – Set boundaries for what should be handled when, where, and how, and practice saying “No” when necessary (e.g. Set strict working hours).

  3. Cultivate Interests Outside of Work – Concentrate on more than simply your job. Have some interests or pastimes that provide you pleasure and happiness even when you're not working (e.g. Baking, Exercising, etc.).

  4. Build Healthy Relationships – It’s crucial to have supportive friends and family in both your personal and professional lives since your social life has a big influence on how you handle stress and other obstacles.

  5. Small Wins – Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how minor or trivial they may be (e.g. Waking up today, going to work despite not wanting to, and the like).

  6. Voice Out Your Concerns – Be as expressive as you desire. Practice this as long as you are considerate of others and open to their viewpoints. Your emotions are a ticking time bomb if you bottle them up.

  7. Ask for Help – Never hesitate to seek guidance when you need it. Asking for advice just shows that you need some help and are eager to learn.

  8. Leave Some for Yourself – Prioritize yourself above everything else as much as possible. Always set aside a little time, effort, patience, and a little bit of everything for yourself (e.g. Allotting an hour or so to do something you like or taking a break when you need it).

Although job burnout is prevalent nowadays, your personal state and well-being still matter, and we at Fidecita wish you the best on your mental health endeavors. Click here to know more about Fidecita HR Advisory’s Mental Health Care services. You can also message the Fidecita Facebook Page or email us at for further inquiries.


Plata, T. (2022). Work Burnout Signs: What to Look for and What to Do about It. Boston University; The Brink.

Signs of Burnout at Work — and What to Do about It. (2021). Betterup.

World Health Organization. (2019). Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases. World Health Organization: WHO.

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