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What Leads to Job Burnout?

There are many causes of job burnout.  Sometimes it can be that a person is working in a job that is not properly suited to their natural talents and abilities, causing them to work much harder than the work duties actually require.  Other reasons cited for burnout include a mis-match of key values between the company and the employee.  Someone who is working outside of his or her value system is a prime candidate for burnout.

Other work-related causes of burnout are:

  • Lack of a feeling of control over your work
  • Unclear or “moving” job expectations
  • Working in a high-pressured environment
  • Lack of recognition or appreciation for a job well-done

Another common cause of burnout is actually self-induced by way of personality type.  Common personality traits that can lead to burnout are:

  • High-Achievers or Type A personalities
  • Control issues:  the need to be in total control and cannot delegate
  • Perfectionist personality:  Always looking for “perfection”
  • Pessimistic personality: The “awfulizing” personality is a killer
  • Workaholic personality: no interests outside of work

The economic downturn has been tough on companies as well as employees.  With increased layoffs many remaining employees have been given additional duties.  Increased responsibilities coupled with the fear they may be the next person laid off leaves many people working too many hours just to keep pace.  When you add the stress that fear and lack of stability bring, this just ups the ante for stress to teeter over the line to burnout.

Again, recognizing the signs as well as knowing the causes of burnout are two important steps in overcoming the problem.

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Judy W Bell

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