Preventing Burnout in Your Passion Career

To be able to work in a career you’re passionate for seems like a dream come true to many. However, what happens when the dream turns into a nightmare? Although we may never think we’d get tired of doing the things we love, there comes a day in many people’s lives when the reason why we wanted a job so much becomes a distant memory.

A lot of factors are involved in this change of heart, one of which is burnout. If your career still has a special place in your heart, don’t worry of an impending breakup just yet. There are many ways to stop burnout before it gets started. Here’s how:

What Causes Burnout?

So, how do you go from loving your dream job to hating it? Although having an overloaded schedule can certainly lead to burnout, it’s not the sole reason for wanting to switch careers. One contributing factor is a lack of control or purpose.

If we feel like we don’t have control or value in our occupations, whether it be due to an insufficient amount of responsibilities or not enough resources to get the job done, discontent can develop — even if you enjoy other aspects of your career. Rewards also have an impact on the satisfaction of our jobs.

It doesn’t have to be a big award or monetary in value, but something as simple as getting a “job well done” from a coworker is sufficient enough. When your work environment is wanting in these kinds of rewards, burnout is more likely to happen since recognition and validation is not being given.

People also play a role in your overall opinion of your job. If your workplace is prone to gossip and mistreatment of employees, it won’t matter how much you love your work. A sense of fairness and an alignment of your values is also an important aspect of your career, so if any of these two variables are missing from your job, dissatisfaction will naturally result as well.

Careers Where Burnout Occurs

Even though you can experience burnout no matter what your job is, there are some careers that a more susceptible to this condition than others. Here are few rewarding — but potentially exhausting — careers that can lead to burnout:

  • Nurses: Having a work-life balance as a nurse is hard enough as it is. Working with challenging patients and combating compassion fatigue is all in a day’s work for these professionals. On top of that, already long hours get compounded with mandatory overtime. With too many patients and not enough nurses on call to give everyone the quality care they need, it’s a recipe for burnout disaster.
  • Social Workers: It’s hard to separate your work life from your personal life, especially for social workers. Social workers aid clients with heartbreaking and stressful situations that aren’t easily left at the office. Too much emotional strain, even for a good cause, can wear out the best of us.
  • Teachers: Spend any amount of time with just a small group of children and you can realize how teachers can get burnt out. Too little pay, not enough resources, and not enough time to get the work they need done, teaching must truly be your calling if you plan to stay long term.

There are plenty of other jobs not listed here that can cause a great deal of stress to their employees. This is not to say to steer clear from these careers. In fact, there are a multitude of people who love these professions and can’t think of another place they would rather be. However, without the right resources in place, these jobs could be more than what people bargained for.

How to Prevent Burnout

Thankfully, burnout can be prevented. One of the first things you should do is seek the company of others. Make time for loved ones and even try to form new relationships with the people you work with. Having people you’re able to express your feelings to in and out of work will make your time in both arenas much more enjoyable.

Not taking enough time for yourself also contributes to the possibility of burnout. You need a work-life balance no matter what profession you’re in. That means giving yourself breaks to relax and catch up on your hobbies. This includes utilizing any vacation time you have as well. Don’t forget about your health either.

Neglecting your health is a sure way to exacerbate the burnout process. Getting plenty of sleep and exercising is a source of refreshment and reduces any stress you might be experiencing. Diet is an important element to think about as well. By filling your diet with energy boosting foods like bananas, oatmeal, and nuts, you’ll be fired up instead of burnt out.

However, if you are feeling the onslaught of burnout, it may be time to take a second look and evaluate if what you’re doing is truly your passion. As we grow up, our interests and likes change and that’s perfectly okay. Take some online classes and see if a career change is in order. Remember, change is good. You may even find something you like better than what you’re doing now.

If you feel burnt out from your career, that doesn’t mean it’s not right for you. Like many things, time can make you forget why you fell in love with it in the first place, and changing circumstances can make you realize that what you thought your job would be like wasn’t what it was in reality.

Sometimes we need a break —  even from our passions — and to try something new. Burnout happens to many people, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. By taking preventative steps and knowing what your dream career entails, you can be more prepared to handle any stress that comes your way and truly enjoy your life’s work.