Bad Week or Burnout?

May 16th, 2019


You’ve had a bad stretch – the professional equivalent of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Except, it’s lasted longer than a day … it feels like you’ve been overwhelmed for as long as you can remember.

And it’s starting to affect you. You’re tired. You’re irritable. You’re starting to spend most of your commute daydreaming about moving to some tropical island, and then drifting away on a lonely ocean raft.

Is this just a temporary blip? Or have you permanently burned out at this position? A bad week or a sign you might need a career change?

Here are some signs you might be looking at a longer-term problem:

Sustained Bad Attitude

Your co-workers have developed a series of nicknames for you: Grumpy, Crabby, The Grinch. You’ve become short-tempered and find yourself triggered into complaining at the slightest invitation.

Now, a bad week might prompt you to snip occasionally. One mild outburst doesn’t mean you need a sabbatical or a new gig. But a sustained period of unpleasant behavior might warrant some introspection, and possibly some resume polishing.

Getting Harder to Show Up

You start hitting the snooze bar a few extra times. Lunch used to consist of a sandwich at your desk. Now, it involves an hour-and-a-half epic feast at a restaurant as far away from work as you can reasonably get. You’re arriving late, leaving early and calling in sick at every opportunity.

An unpleasant stretch at work might have you daydreaming about checking out, but you eventually refocus and get your work done. However, if you start regularly playing hooky, it might signal a general lack of interest on your part.

Impact on Your Physical Health

A short-term period of intensified stress might leave you run down. But a little rest and relaxation should alleviate the problem. A couple of days off, or even a restful weekend, should reverse any preliminary physical damage to a tough week.

However, if you find yourself plagued by lingering illness or other physical manifestations of stress and frustration – like weight gain and insomnia – you might have to consider more drastic options.

Work Performance Slipping

You find it hard to fire yourself up anymore. You were once the company’s go-to employee. Now you’re happy to coast along. You’ve gone from great to adequate, and you just don’t care.

A bad week might leave you seeking the solace of a few slow days, just a respite to catch your breath. However, if nothing you do can reignite your inner drive, a more general funk may have become entrenched.

Daydreaming of Greener Pastures

Boil it down to this: How excited would you be for a new opportunity? If you have no interest in finding a different situation, if you’re excited to recommit to your current company, if you still think your present position offers you the best path to career fulfillment, then your recent troubles probably only indicate a short-term hiccup.

However, if your spirit leaped at the thought of somewhere new, if the prospect of different co-workers and a different boss fills you with glee, if you’d rather drive off into the sunset tonight than have to trudge back to work tomorrow, then you’ve probably reached full burned-out status. In that case, it might be time for a new opportunity.

If you’ve reached that crossroads, a recruiter provides a great entry into the world beyond your current slog. A top-flight staffing firm, like SmartTalent, can find you the kind of reinvigorating placement that will get your career back to its happy place.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.

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