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JCC Job/Career "Burnout"

Discussion in 'Community' started by Pensivia, May 27, 2022.

  1. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    According to researchers, job-related "burnout" is defined by three key characteristics:

    --persistent feelings of exhaustion (that don't get better with rest/time off )

    --pronounced feelings of cynicism (according to a January NYT article, this is also called "depersonalization" or "emotional distancing" when "You view your co-workers, clients, or patients as objects or problems more than as people" )

    --a sense of ineffectiveness in your work

    The Mayo Clinic website describes job burnout as "a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity."

    And of course, the challenges of the pandemic have only contributed to increases in burnout for people in many different types of work.

    I was experiencing all three of these characteristics (to varying degrees) even before the pandemic, and I'm curious to hear about others' experiences of work-related "burnout":

    --If you ever experienced work-related burnout in the past, were you able to resolve/get past it without changing jobs/careers? How so?

    --If you did change jobs due to burnout, how did that go?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts/experiences!
     
  2. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I experienced burnout along with severe anxiety and heavy depression due to my jobs in Hollywood. Switching jobs to a more normal professional writing job was maybe not as creatively exciting but may have saved my life. Helps that I have the best most understanding boss now.
     
  3. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    This has happened about twice in my professional career. Once I was on a more temporary assignment, and I was able to just grind it out until the end, even though I knew I felt miserable. Knowing that there was a defined end point really helped. The other time, I had no such luck. It was very expected and sort of disillusioning. I think part of it came from being in a job that had an ill-defined portfolio, both in terms of responsibilities and powers. While that had the problem of letting me wander into institutional minefields without warning, it also gave me some freedom to redefine what I was doing. I pulled back emotionally from the job for a few weeks, and when I re-engaged it was in areas where I both felt better about what I was doing, and my work was more appreciated. I am not quite sure how I would've handled things if I had a narrower job description that didn't allow for that kind of maneuver.
     
  4. FatBurt

    FatBurt Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Had burnout a few years back that led to me having a panic attack in a swimming pool when I was on holiday with the family.

    After the holiday I then had regular panic attacks on the way to work.

    ALL of it stemmed from the culture at work of requiring 100% productivity and then do more work too, I was working 50-60hr weeks with no breaks yet only being paid for 35 and the work I was doing still wasn't enough even though I had delivered a new system and the associated processes (and fixes).

    I left.

    But not without significant impact to my own self worth and belief in my own abilities. I am considered a specialist in my field and have been externally evaluated by my peers and yet even now, 6 years on I can be wracked with self doubt all stemming back to my prior job.
     
  5. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Thanks to those that have shared so far! I'm glad you have a much better situation now @solojones and that you were able to get past your burnout experiences @Jabba-wocky

    I'm not sure I'm in _complete_ burnout mode, as there are still aspects of my job (higher ed teaching) that I can enjoy (if I'm not too far behind/in a work "crunch" mode), and I still feel gratified/rewarded when I get positive feedback from students.

    But the overall higher ed landscape has been changing (for the worse) for a while, even before the pandemic accelerated some of these negative trends, and in general I've always struggled with work-related anxiety and difficulty maintaining a good work-life balance. There's always more to do than there is really time to do, and teaching and related tasks all too easily expand into as much time as you will give it. Plus, I have some self-defeating perfectionist tendencies (rooted in persistent "fear of failure" feelings) that don't help. So @FatBurt, I can definitely relate to that feeling of minimizing/ignoring positive external evaluations/feedback due to internal doubts/anxieties.
     
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  6. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I’m not there but I am very close. It comes down to weighing the financial hit that would be taking early retirement against any job-related stress, which mostly comes from the **** flung at teachers by a segment of our population, as opposed to my specific site. If the job-related stress becomes worse than any financial hit I would take, I will be out.
     
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  7. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    My dream is definitely early retirement, but that will probably not be feasible for me for a while. Depending on several factors, I may have to stick it out for up to 15 or so more years. I've been teaching for 30 years (full time for over 20), and I'm just tired. So many of my colleagues in my age bracket feel the same.

    ^and yeah, that is such an added stressor. my hat is off to K-12 educators dealing with all of that bs!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
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  8. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Postal carrier here.

    It’s a stupidly easy job from a responsibility standpoint, but the quality of workers they hire… sheesh. One of the most challenging parts of my job is my coworkers. I’ve been here for ten plus years and I associate with exactly zero of them outside of work (unless you count a fantasy football league), and have none of them on any of the social media platforms I’m on. Part of it is distrust, I don’t like my personal life to be a topic of conversation at the office (not that I’m very public on social platforms anyway). But part of it also is that I just don’t value most of them. There are a select few I get along with and can have conversations with, but most of them are, quite frankly, extremely lazy and extremely unintelligent, and it shows in their performance and general work ethic. And it starts at the top. The level of professionalism from management is nill. There is zero accountability. If you’re slow and lazy, the solution is to make the efficient workers help you. There is no discipline. Call in sick excessively? Sign here please, you’ve just received an attendance review, back to your regularly scheduled programming. Deliver a package of human remains to the complete opposite side of town from where it was supposed to go? Let the regular carrier who you were subbing for fix your mistake, no big deal, you do you, you’ll be a supervisor next week. So it’s frustrating that I do the same thing for a living as these… *sigh* people. Can you tell this job has made me extremely cynical? If I had to spend all day in the office (that isn’t always air conditioned and predates the ******* internet), I don’t think I could make it. At least I’m out on my own most of the day. All that combined with the general monotony of the job can be mentally taxing.

    Also, Texas isn’t a great place for this job. We’re already experience heat indexes in the hundreds, and our vehicles have a small fan for air conditioning and that’s it. It’s hot air moving. Stepping out of my ‘93 Death Trap and into the sweltering Texas heat is refreshing. So it takes a physical toll as well. I try to exercise a few times a week (just ran the equivalent of a 5K in under 29 minutes baybee) and mow the lawn weekly, but it is exhausting. I feel like I am just in a constant state of excessive sweating. So all that’s the physical toll. And, like, delivering bed frames to the third floor and stuff. You ever see “Team Lift” on a box? Hilarious. I’m a 30 year old dude in somewhat decent shape. I don’t know how these older folks do it, I really don’t.

    Honestly, it wouldn’t be that bad if this was a Monday through Friday 9 to 5. But I work most Saturdays, Sundays in what they call “peak season” (September when students comes back in this college town, pretty much all the way to the end of Christmas). I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a 40 hour work week. Like, ever, since I started. I miss a lot IRL.

    But, **** could be worse. I’ve heard horror stories from other jobs. The security is good. It’s impossible to get fired. Union. Good benefits. Good pay for just a high school diploma. My wife and I are comfortable. We’re ready for a kid. I’m on track for a cushy retirement… if I can make it another thirty years. Lmao. I like to vent. Thanks, thread.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
  9. Luke02

    Luke02 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2002
    @anakinfansince1983 The past three years felt like it has been thirty in our profession. I gone from absolutely loving it to the first time questioning if I will make it to retirement. Ultimately I will stay as I am already 13 years in and really to jump ship at this point when I already over halfway done to full retirement (but I planned on teaching for thirty years and retired at sixty basically) is pointless especially I still love it as the positives outweigh the negatives...but those negatives get worse and bigger every year. And if they do insist I carry a gun or MAGAers somehow get in power here (Illinois) and tell me how to run my classroom? I do think I will leave no matter how close I am to retirement.
     
  10. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I am finishing 23 years and in NC, anyone who is at least 50 and has at least 20 years in can retire with a reduced pension. So I could, but right now I’d rather try to push through the next seven years for a much better payout.
     
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  11. Dannik Jerriko

    Dannik Jerriko Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 12, 2017
    In the past, I’ve had jobs that didn’t suit me. I worked in rigid, sometimes uniformed environments and I greatly disliked being part of such a hierarchy.

    Now I work on a self employed basis, sub-contracting my services to companies. There are many drawbacks to this arrangement, but it allows me the freedom to move between teams/companies/locations if I choose. I am also fortunate enough to genuinely enjoy the work that I do (this has not always been the case with jobs in the past).

    I have mostly worked for the same company for the last four years or so. Recently, there has been a serious decline in working conditions. Safety has been seriously compromised and my colleagues and I are being routinely disrespected. I was forced to call a stop to work on a site last week because the project manager was taking serious risks with safety. I have since learned that the project manager (who I consider a friend) described this as a “mutiny”. I don’t know that this situation can be salvaged and it might be time to move on. It’s a shame, but sometimes it’s necessary to recognise an unsalvageable situation and move on.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
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  12. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    My wife is a second grade teacher and this sounds very familiar. She’s only been doing it for five or six years now, but the past couple have been especially taxing between the pandemic and the general declining behavior of the children, coupled with the unfair pressure of their jobs and the ineptitude of the school district.

    She is in a low income area where kids will show up smelling like smoke, wearing dirty clothes, etc. One kid, a seven year old mind you, was caught vaping in the bathroom. There was marijuana in it. Same kid that literally felt her up, and when she sent him to the “behavioral specialist,” came back five minutes later with a lollipop and a **** eating grin on his face.

    I don’t think she’d leave the profession altogether before at least transferring to a different school and trying that (we live within walking distance of a well regarded elementary school). There’s a feeling of conflict I think between wanting to be there for less fortunate children who don’t have the best home lives, but also taking care of her own mental and physical health. I don’t envy her in the slightest, but my admiration for her is indescribably enormous, as is my admiration for all the good teachers out there handling their ****, no matter how unfair it is to them.
     
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  13. Dannik Jerriko

    Dannik Jerriko Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 12, 2017
    Hats off to all the teachers on here. If dealing with a classroom full of kids/teenagers isn’t hard enough, you get everyone telling you how to do your job as an added bonus. I couldn’t do it.