[Feedback] Do you feel stuck or burnt out?

Hi Elpha Community!

I'm doing some research on burnout and have started a list of common reasons I hear as to why this might be happening. Which ones have you experienced / or are you experiencing?

[Reason #1] Concerns are not being heard

[Reason #2] Needs not being met

[Reason #3] Feeling like leadership isn’t listening or doing the right thing

[Reason #4] Feeling like you have to stay in your role for financial/security reasons

[Reason #5] Can’t take time off because of lack of resources

[Reason #6] Fears about the economy/recession

[Reason #7] Feeling unsafe at work

What am I missing?

Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

Lack of compassion in leadership (i.e. leadership fails to remember that you are a human being with a life outside of work). Leads to expectations of you working late hours, weekends, dropping everything for the company, etc.
@nakomaehrhart thank you for sharing this! I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with this and I've certainly worked with leaders in the past who have made me feel this way, too. Is there anything that you're currently trying to change/re-set expectations around working hours?
Thanks summer! I am dealing with this in my current role. What has worked best for me is setting strict boundaries and saying NO. I have had to assert myself quite a bit with this, but it has worked. I also will sometimes have to directly vocalize to leadership that I am a human with a life, and I intend to live it. I do wish my coworkers would enforce their boundaries better; what ends up happening often is when I say no to enforce my boundaries, leadership will go to one of them expecting the job to get done outside of working hours regardless, and one of them will often agree.
That's amazing and I'm so happy to hear you've been able to set those boundaries! That's frustrating that you're coworkers aren't following suit and I can see how that creates an even more difficult environment for you. I appreciate you sharing your feedback and insights with me!!
This isn't my situation, but I feel like I've heard a lot of people being dissatisfied that they're being asked to do things outside of their job scope?
@ilonatrn Thanks for sharing! That makes sense and I'll add it to the list :).
Things are not exciting or fun to work. I know this is vague but what I mean is nothing new is coming to work on something along that lines
Yes I totally get that. Thanks for adding this one!
work goes into a void (no feedback). work is urgent and then it isn't at all / constant pivots leading to work thrown away (after you've put in a ton of effort/overtime/stress), mismatch between what they claim they want and what gets rewarded/recognized, constant picky feedback on minor items not engaging with the core of the work, gaslighting/politics (leading to excessive documentation, stress around making sure things are airtight and every scenario considered before moving forward, checking in with others to make sure we're not just being too sensitive/unable to deal with ambiguity)
Thank you for sharing these. They definitely go a lot deeper into specific reasons creating both burnout and an unsafe working environment. The picky feedback is definitely one I've experienced before and also created a lot of self-doubt in me as a result. I know you didn't explicitly state that you're experiencing all of these right now, but know that if you are, this sounds like a really challenging environment and I'm here if you ever want to talk more about it!
Thanks, I quit that job and I'm much happier now. Still working on recovery & resilience, but seeing progression. I guess what I wrote could be lumped into 'needs not being met' because I need to know the work I'm doing is moving things forward, but I think it's broader than how most people talk about 'meaningful work' (which seems to be aligned to purpose or vision). The management is maybe lack of autonomy/trust? Which again is 'needs not being met', but that is just a broad box compared to the others.
That's such an interesting point around meaningful work. In your definition, it's more like knowing the work is adding up to something or moving something forward in some way. Does that feel right? For the leadership, did you ever feel like it was an unsafe or hostile working environment? Or is it that the constant pivots, mismatch between expectations and rewards, etc. caused distrust over time?
Yes, that it is building something, even if it isn't a something I really care about personally, as long as it isn't evil (like I wouldn't work for payday loans). I think the problem with leadership was that they were all on the outside really kind empathetic people who said all the right things and then it turned out you couldn't actually trust them and they didn't have your back. And then navigating people in the org who only saw the one face and thought you were paranoid. I was super lucky that someone told me very early never to let my boss take the meeting notes. I guess that is a form of not feeling safe, but I wouldn't have characterized it with those words.
Makes sense. I really appreciate you sharing your experience and being so open and vulnerable. Thank you!!
What about reasons outside of work place? E.g. person is in difficult personal situation which already puts a strain on their stress levels, and not able to take proper leave - so full time work leads to a burnout.
@katerinc that's a good call. I hadn't considered including reasons outside of the workplace and I can see how may difficult personal situations would lead to burnout. I appreciate the input!
I'm a self-rescue coach, author & speaker who specializes in burnout recovery & prevention & can tell you from both personal & professional experience that although burnout can happen as a result of the situations listed above, it often results & stems from the need for women to prove their value & worth due to patriarchal & generational programming & trauma.At the end of the day, much of what leads us into burnout is 1) being unconscious of this programming, 2) limiting beliefs, unhealthy habits & toxic personality patterns that lead to self-sacrifice, & 3) the masculinization of women that's happened since we entered the workforce years ago. Much of the work I do is around helping women become aware of & clearing these old programs as well as empowering them to better manage their time, energy & life in a way that leads to happiness, health, wealth & wholeness WITHOUT sacrificing themselves in the process. Believe it or not, burnout is more likely to occur because of how we are reacting & responding to the situations you've outlined above & not as much the situations themselves. And, I'd like to know more about the project you're working on as well! Why are you collecting this data, sister? I'd love to hear. :)
Thank you for your contributions, Jess! What you've shared makes a lot of sense and I certainly have woken up to this programming in my own life. My question comes from a place of wanting to hear how people experiencing burnout would describe why they think this is happening to them. I agree that these may not be the root causes, but I imagine that many people experiencing burnout wouldn't know how to describe/be aware of these root causes until they start working through it on a deeper level (this certainly was the case for me). I'm curious in your work if clients come to you knowing that there may be something else going on underneath some of the reasons I've listed above, or if they first seek out your services because they're experiencing one of the reasons I've listed.
To answer your question, I think a lot of people have a sense of what's leading them into burnout but haven't had the time to process & figure it out & it's usually the symptoms that cause them to get help. Chronic stress, overwhelm or exhaustion tend to be the beginning stages followed by focus/concentration/distraction issues, emotional discontent (anxiety, anger or depression) or worse... physical health issues. I've done a lot of research on this & there is a progression to burnout if not addressed when stress, overwhelm & exhaustion begin to regularly present. This is why it's so important to mitigate what's happening as early as possible! :)
Voicing concerns and having them be disregarded, being micromanaged, lack of trust/ faith from leadership that employees can do their jobs, other employees generating a lot of work behind the scenes and causing a lot of last minute work for cross-functioning teams, patriarchal views/beliefs being pushed onto you , lack of effective workplace support (as in HR or management is not following the law or employment policies as they should).
Thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, this is a much more detailed list than some of the broader categories I considered. The one about patriarchal views being pushed on to you is definitely one that resonates and I'm saddened to hear you've experienced this as well. I'm not sure if you're still working in this environment, but if you are, it sounds really hard and I'm here if you ever want to talk. I appreciate your willingness to share with me!
@summerlindman definitely will be shooting you a DM!
1-3 and a little of #4, although I have some savings.I've always worked for very large corporations.We just went through a re-org and someone close to me was laid off with a week's notice, even though her contract was JUST renewed a few weeks prior. Even our mgrs weren't let in on the re-org until 2 days before announcing to the company.I'm looking into either agency work or full-time entrepreneurship for 2023.
@Daree thank you so much for sharing your experience. Having a co-worker suddenly laid off that you're close to is definitely de-motivating. Do you think this is what led to your concerns about leadership or were they there before?
I've always been wary of it, but with all the different work movements like quiet quitting and the great resignation, it's no wonder that loyalty to a company is at a collective all-time low.
I am not happy where I am. There was a situation, where I was not spoken to properly, and since then I am not interested in my work. My actual care started pivoting to hate the company. I am not my best self and I don't know how to come back. I am facing all of the above list. I would like to know how to navigate this.
Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear that you're experiencing this and I know how challenging it can be to come back after a situation like the one you're describing. The first thing I would recommend is to make sure that you take care of yourself and do something called, "completing the stress cycle." There's a fantastic book on Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski (titled "Burnout the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle") that I'd suggest as a place to start. In it, she recommends a few strategies for doing this including 1) movement (20-60min/day), 2) breathing (deep, slow breaths to calm your nervous system), 3) positive social interaction (even just complimenting a barista has shown to help let your body know that the world is a safe place), 4) laughter and 5) affection (hugging someone you love for 20 seconds has shown to help reduce the stress response).At work, I'd love to understand a little bit more about the dynamics if you'd feel comfortable sharing. Feel free to DM me or set up a time to chat here: you a big virtual hug!