Job Burnout: Signs, Causes & Ways To Cope

Last Update on July 14, 2022 : Published on July 14, 2022

What do you know about the word ‘burnout’? Burnout is a type of stress response that is elicited when you are mentally and physically exhausted by all the stress you have been dealing with. It basically means you have burnt all the energy you had and now you do not have the capacity to deal with any more stress.

All professions have a certain amount of stress and anxiety involved. Some people manage job stress easily and some don’t, it completely depends on person to person. Sometimes job stress increases above your threshold and after facing a long struggle you finally feel exhausted and just want it to end. Well, that’s what job burnout looks like.

Anyone can experience job burnout. It usually happens to those people who fail at managing their workplace stress and lack some coping skills to deal with challenging situations. It can also happen to people who have poor time management and organizational skills.

Here’s all you need to know about job burnout…

What Does Job Burnout Feel Like?


A Job burnout feels like you are so exhausted that you can’t even comprehend things anymore. It’s like you have completely consumed all your energy doing your job and now you just do not have the motivation to even read the document you are signing.

Can you recall the plot of the movie ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’? Well, I think it is a pretty good depiction of job burnout and the struggle of balancing work as well as being a single parent. It’s a decent movie to watch if you want to understand job burnout.

Job burnout is not an official disorder but it does play a vital role in making the symptoms of various other mental health disorders stronger. When you experience job burnout or any other type of burnout, you become vulnerable to several mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and panic disorder symptoms, mood disorders, etc.

Also read: How to Handle a Panic Attack at Work: 10 Simple Ways

Signs Of Job Burnout

The job burnout symptoms can be easily recognized. If you think you might be going through a job burnout, here are all the signs of job burnout that you should look out for;

  • You have become overly critical about your work
  • Face difficulties in concentrating on your work
  • You are not satisfied with any of your accomplishments
  • You literally have to drag yourself to work
  • You lack patients and get easily irritated by your coworkers
  • You rely of food or drugs to feel better (maladaptive eating habits or substance abuse disorder)
  • Changes in your sleep patterns
  • Experience more than usual bodily aches and pains
  • You experience lack of energy
  • You are low on motivation

Most of the signs and symptoms of job burnout are an indication of an underlying mental health condition. It will be best to speak to a mental health professional if you have identified any of the job burnout symptoms for more than 2 weeks.

Causes Of Job Burnout

There can be several factors contributing to job burnout. Some people are more likely to experience job burnout than others, it’s all about individual differences. Other than individual differences there are a few causes of job burnout that speed up the process of making you feel exhausted at workplace

Let’s have a look at the causes of job burnout;

  • You lack control in life
  • You do not know what you should expect from your job
  • You do not have a healthy workplace environment (Eg: Workplace bullying)
  • You either have a very chaotic workplace or your work is very monotonous
  • You fail at work-life balance
  • You lack good social support system
  • You have too much workload and spend extra hours in office
  • You have long working hours, you work on weekends as well

How To Deal With Job Burnout?


If you have identified any signs and symptoms of job burnout in you, it’s best to start working on yourself. Job burnout can make your life miserable if you don’t know how to deal with it. To help you curb job burnout with immediate effect, we’ve come up with a tiny list of things that you can do to deal with job burnout.

Here’s what you have to do;

  • Get your expectations and priorities straight. You should know what you are working for and how you want to execute your work.
  • Have some boundaries for yourself and your colleagues. Your work is not your life, it’s just a part of your life.
  • Have strong social support. Sometimes challenges become easy when you are accompanied by your support system.
  • Learn some relaxation techniques. In times of extreme stress they can come in handy
  • Do regular exercise, physical activity helps in improving your overall mental and physical health
  • Practice mindfulness, it is the best way to calm your negative thoughts and focus on what’s happening in the present moment.

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about job burnout interesting, informative and helpful. Do share this blog with your friends, family and colleagues so that job burnout does weigh down someone with potential. Keep the job burnout symptoms in mind so that you can easily recognize it and help someone deal with job burnout.  

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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