In general terms, and based on my own experience alone (so not quoting any HR or Professional Management source here), burnout is typically due to:
1. Career Treadmill: where your job or role has you on a perpetual treadmill feeling like you need to keep running forward to stay in the same place. You feel like you have plateaued, and your Management, Leadership or HR team does not seem to notice your predicament.
2. You are stressed out and cannot pinpoint exactly what the root cause is (it could be a personal issue, health issue, work environment, Manager/Leader style issue, or other)
3. You are in a career bind where you feel your job is under siege so you are doing everything in your power to retain it – working overtime, taking on tasks and assignments that should really be addressed by others on the team and agreeing to deadlines and targets that are unreasonable.
What should you do?
Talk to someone – your manager, your HR focal , your mentor (if you have one )- these are typically your professional/work contacts who should be able to advise, assist and counsel you
See your physician and get his/her advice – you may be suffering from a health issue that needs appropriate medication and/or other expert treatment
Stop working – take a break for a few days, a week or whatever your physician and work associated recommend (or that you have available to you). Focus on your family, your hobby, your pet or that exotic, distant land you have always wanted to visit.
At the end of the day, this is your only life – you cannot go back to ‘Go’ and collect $500 – that happy rewind option only works on the Monopoly game board.
When your life is done, it is done – no comebacks – do you really think you are going to worry about what your Organization is thinking about you when you are checking out for that great gig in the sky?
Na…you will be more concerned with how you lived your life – how you loved your family and friends…and what legacy you have left behind for them – how they will all remember you.
So go ahead and take that break…or else the burnout will kill you!