Do you find it difficult to break away from work? With much of our society still working from home, it’s easier than ever to experience career burnout. Gone is the drive home, lunch break, or team building activity that helped you decompress and kept you balanced. Even if you’re back in the office, high-stress environments can take their toll. And whether you’re a part of a company or running a company, you are probably feeling this stress.
Career coach Kinia Romanowska used to be there, too. Today, she helps working mothers succeed without compromising their family’s health and happiness. She has 3 steps to help you do the same:
- Assess – and reassess – your values
Your values matter. Not only do they serve as a beacon during truly difficult times, but they help to guide you in the day to day.
- Focus on 3 main values that drive your decisions
- Explore why you chose them
- Decide if your career path aligns with those values
It’s important to recognize that your values will likely change over time. That’s why you should assess your values on a regular basis. This may be once a year or even more frequently depending on your life circumstances.
- Visualize your future
Imagine yourself towards the end of your life. You’re retired and surrounded by your loved ones. This can include grown children, grandchildren, your spouse, and dear friends. Where are you? What are you doing? How do you look? How do you feel? How do they look? How do they feel?
Now suppose you ask them to describe your life to them. Ask them specifically what they remember about your career.
If their answers conjure up negative comments, you may be headed for burnout. If you aren’t comfortable with what you see or how you feel, you may be headed for burnout. Even though this is an imaginary scenario, visualizing what’s to come can reveal truths that are hard to hear.
- Make it manageable
If what you see isn’t what you’d hoped, it’s time to change the future. No, you can’t predict everything life will throw at you, but you can make some adjustments now. Just don’t try to do it all at once.
Think about the aspects of your life that are impacted by your busy career, such as:
- Health and nutrition
- Work-life balance
Recognize that career burnout creates a domino effect on the rest of your life. You’re exhausted and pull back from your spouse who then becomes frustrated. This impacts the rest of your family, which in turn impacts everyone’s health. Or a lack of work-life balance can result in poor nutrition choices which in turn impacts your health. Over time, this will impact your relationships, too.
To stop the cycle, make manageable changes. Revisit how your values fit into each of the areas above. Then make sure your actions align with them. When you do, you can reverse the domino effect – as one area grows healthier the rest will, too.
- Build helpful connections
The road to career burnout can be lonely. So is the aftermath. But connecting with others on a similar journey can help you avoid it altogether.
For one, it keeps you accountable. It’s easier to stay true to your values if you name them out loud and share how you’re incorporating them into the main areas of your life.
Connections also validate your experience. They tell you that others are experiencing similar struggles. This can help you grow more confident and better able to define what it is you want in life.
With the right steps, you won’t just avoid burnout. You’ll keep your career and your life, too.