Do you dread heading into work each morning?
Is your job less fulfilling than it used to be?
Are you unsure how to get out of your funk?
Let’s explore a few easy tactics can revive your work and restore the empowered feeling you’ve been missing.
1. Identify Positive Outcomes
The first remedy that I often explore with my clients is to identify positive outcomes that their work creates – maybe customer lives that they impact or specific ways in which their work makes the world go around. There's so much for fulfillment that comes from benefitting others. If you're working at Snapchat, your work helps bring people closer together. If your efforts enable businesses to operate more efficiently, you could eliminate wasteful airplane rides that are harming the environment.
Find a way to draw connections between your work and your measure of success. So much of what we do day-to-day seems tedious and useless. Recognize how your efforts fit in the bigger picture and how your work helps make life better for others.
Take Action: Take a second to think to yourself about the impacts your work has on others and appreciate the progress that you have created.
2. Discover what truly motivates you
A second way to overcome career burnout is to make time to identify what truly motivates you. If you look at some of the greatest leaders and most successful professionals in the world, they're able to do so much more with their time because they are empowered and energized by alignment of their work with their true calling.
When you align with your purpose (your answers to the questions: What is it that you want people to remember about you? or Why do I do what I do every day?) a job doesn't feel just like a job, it feels like a calling. It feels like you're doing something more with your time and efforts to justify the hard hours that you're committing, the stress that you're enduring and the challenges you endure. Joining your work with your inner motivations is also be beneficial for your long-term happiness.
Take Action: What is it that truly motivates you? Is it a high salary? The security of putting a roof over your head? Fame? Making a difference? The continual drive to achieve more? By discovering your purpose and really aligning your work accordingly, you can bring so much fulfillment into your day-to-day … and you’ll soon forget about the days when you were feeling burned out and depleted.
I know the process of introspection to determine your inner motivations can be challenging. If you would like more support through this process, I encourage you to view a free webinar on the topic or try our online course for a step-by-step walkthrough of this pivotal process.
3. Gamify your career.
The third option to consider is to gamify your career. You likely have a competitive nature that comes out when you play games with friends or strive to outdo others in social settings. Making a game out of your career success engages these same primal instincts and can bring more meaning to your work. Forget setting goals because they likely haven’t worked to motivate you in the past. Instead, form a scoring system for your career. Just like in sports where the points are a clear sign of performance, create a method to measure how well you are completing milestones that matter to you. Maybe you measure your success by the number of times your merit is recognized. Maybe you score a few points each time you land a new client or take your email inbox below 200. You know, small victories, right?
Whether you’re playing kickball or monopoly, these games have clear objectives that you’re seeking to achieve and clear rewards for your efforts. Build strategy into your career as if it were a game you desired to win, and be sure to have fun by awarding yourself for your success.
When you’re fully immersed in winning the game, you’ll forget all about that burned-out reality you used to feel stuck in.
Take Action: Gamify your career by developing a scoring system for your efforts, and identifying clear goals that you’re seeking to achieve within the ‘game.’ Be sure to also set meaningful rewards for yourself (maybe a new iPhone or a much-needed spa day!) to motivate your progress.
4. Developing A Habit of Continual Learning
The fourth way that you can combat feeling burned out is by slowing down to read books, listen to podcasts, and journal. Studies continually show that lifelong learning leads to personal fulfillment and can combat the burned out feeling that many individuals face.   
It seems like life is always too busy to make time for slowing down and enjoying the simple things in life, right? Now that it’s getting to be wintertime, snuggle up with a blanket and a good book. Try to find something on the usefulness spectrum between 50 Shades of Grey and a boring lecture on leadership. Try to identify a topic in which you’re looking to grow professionally and see which books or podcasts are most highly rated on that topic. If you’re seeking a promotion, what’s a skill that you need to develop to boost your chances of getting the new role? If you’re looking to change careers in a new direction, start with a skill that you likely need to make stronger for the new position. With podcasts booming faster than ever, there are likely engaging and relevant shows that will be both entertaining and informative.
While reading or listening, take notes on paper of ideas that you can apply in your own life. Going through the motions of personal growth doesn’t have to be dull and boring. If there’s something that you know you should be getting better at, carving out one evening instead of binge-watching television shows can lead to a fulfilling feeling when you lay your head to bed.
Take Action: In this day-and-age where technology is creating change faster than ever, if you're not moving forward, you're falling behind. A reason many folks feel burned out in their careers is that their lives feel stagnant and aren’t moving forward. Make time to continually reinvent yourself to re-initiate the feeling of personal advancement.
5. Delegate The Tasks That Drain Your Energy
Too many of us feel stressed at our jobs because working on certain projects or with certain people really grind our gears. Abrasive work can wear you down over time and lead to a sincere unhappiness. Stress hormones and negative chemicals in the body accumulate over time so your unhappiness becomes a new normal and can lead to other health problems as well.
Your mood, however, can vastly improve once you remove the toxic stimulants from your daily routine. Delegate or eliminate as many energy-zapping aspects from your life as you can, so you're only surrounded by an energy-positive environment.
Take Action: Take out a notepad and write out 5 aspects of your job that raise your blood pressure and steal your energy. Then work your way through the list line by line to identify specific ways in which you can mitigate each stressor. Implement the ideas on your list, and drastically improve your situation as a result.
6. Change Careers
Sometimes the challenges in your work are so inescapable that your best option is to move on to a new job altogether. I work with clients each week who face toxic work environments, workplace inequality, discrimination, and more. For these folks, moving to a new employer drastically improves their livelihood and well being.
If changing to a new employer feels like the right move for you, I encourage you to schedule a free 15-minute conversation with me. In 15 minutes I can give you a massive amount of career strategy that will save you countless hours during your transition. I live and breathe this stuff every day, and my tactics improve with each client I coach. I will explain how you can leverage several sites on the internet to simplify your application process and boost your odds of earning interviews, and as a former recruiter, I can quickly summarize the methods that helped job candidates earn job offers. Of course, I cover these topics in depth in my online courses, but the free conversation is probably the best place to get started.
Take Action: Schedule a free conversation with me to help you decide whether changing jobs is the right direction for you, and let me share several tips that can significantly reduce the stress of the whole process.
As you work each of these items into your daily routine you will create a cycle that brings a continuous stream of energy into your life. Overcoming burnout is easier than it might seem when you’re stuck in a rut, but sometimes it helps to have a helping hand. If a few minutes of my time can make a difference in your journey, I’m happy to help. Use the contact us link at the bottom of this page and let’s connect.
- Identify positive outcomes that your work creates
- Discover what truly motivates you and align that belief with your work
- Gamify your career.
- Developing a habit of continual learning and growing can revive your professional outlook
- Delegate the tasks that drain your energy
- Changing careers can immediately revitalize your energy and optimism
If you feel stuck and drained in your career, we have created an online course that’s just what you need. Those that have completed the course rave about how well it walks them through intimidating topics like introspection and career strategy. Check it out to see if the helpful content is right for you too.