Jul 10

Emily Frank (Hokkaido, 1993-1996) is a professional career counselor and coach who has worked with and helped JET alumni all over the world. Her website is www.DenverCareerCatalyst.com.

Job Burnout Worksheet

Are you struggling with a decision about whether it’s time to leave your job or not?  This worksheet will help you decide if you’re really burning out or if you can make some changes at your current job that make it worth sticking out.  Write your answers in as much detail as possible.

  1. Control: Do you feel you lack autonomy at work? What causes you to think that?  For instance, is your work an always-on-call culture, with expectations that you will respond to emails and phone calls even at night or on weekends?  Do you have enough staff to accomplish what needs accomplishing? If not, are there any steps you can take so mitigate these?

  2. Workload: Can you feasibly accomplish your work and still do things like eat lunch and leave work on time?  Have you successfully prioritized your tasks and figured out ways to delegate things? Are you letting perfect be the enemy of good?  Would learning effective time management strategies make your workload manageable?

  3. Reward: Are you getting enough from your job?  Remember that rewards are both intrinsic (the intangible things that make the job itself satisfying, like being acknowledged by colleagues and clients, feeling like you’re growing, etc.) and extrinsic (the things you get from the job like pay and benefits) and that we each need some of both in order to be happy.  What do you need to be getting from your job in order to feel happy with it? Would getting a raise or promotion be enough? (If so, absolutely seek one!)

  4. Fairness: Does praise get spread fairly evenly across all areas of your team, or are certain people given more for doing the same amount of praise-worthy work as others?  Are there racial, gender, age, or gender identity biases? If so, you may want to start by pointing these imbalances out—people are often unaware of their own biases, but tread carefully so as to avoid hurting feelings!  You may even enlist the help of a sympathetic colleague who can say something like, “I noticed that Janet contributed a lot to this program but wasn’t one of the people who got a thank-you gift card for it. Can you please help me understand why that is?”

  5. Culture: Who do you work with?  Are there people who regularly ask how your day is going?  Are people supportive and trustworthy? Is water cooler talk discouraged?  Sometimes you can mitigate some of these relationship challenges by simply getting to know the others you work with a little better, but sometimes those behaviors are frowned on, or your colleagues are simply not people you can trust.  We humans need a sense of community, so the culture of your workplace can have a huge impact on the sustainability of your job.

  6. Values: If you’ve followed any of my social media, you’ll know that this is one of my key talking points.  A mismatch in your values and those of your workplace will burn you out in a job faster than just about anything I know.  Did your workplace once have values that aligned with yours but those have shifted? If so, in what ways has that become apparent?  Are the decision-makers open to suggestions and willing to make small changes? What are the current underlying motivations for decisions, and how do those feel to you?

 

Deciding whether or not to leave a job can feel like a heavy burden, but be thoughtful and honest about these questions and you will have a better understanding of whether to stay or go.

© 2019

Research from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911781/


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