Signs of Burnout at Work

More Leaders Are Burned Out at Work than Ever Before


As a society, we've already lost quality people in critical roles.

Your ability to detect signs of burnout at work, in yourself or others, and to take action in a caring way, is crucial. 

You probably already have some experience with this. The last several years have pushed the challenges of burnout to the forefront of our consciousness. 

If you can pick up on burnout beginning in you or others, you can do something about it. I know as a professional Coach working in this area for many, many years, I can do something about it. 

Burned Out at Work Means Struggle. Is this You, or Someone on Your Team?


As an executive, you pay attention to charts, trends, and statements, or you monitor client usage, response and lives affected. All this data gives you valuable information that you act on. Stress, overload and burnout leaves a trail of information too.

Like a developing trend line, there are five indicators mentioned below, that can point to a deteriorating personal situation. If you see these in yourself or observe these changes in behaviour and performance in others, start asking questions. Reach out. 

Contact me, and I can support you or one of your valued leaders through burnout and beyond into renewed contribution and regained satisfaction. No, I can't guarantee they'll stay in the organization, but I can guarantee I'll help them make their own decision as to what they believe is best for them. 

FAQ about job burnout and sponsoring a leader

What are Signs of Burnout at Work?


What are signs of burnout at work?

If you say "Yes" to all or several of these five indicators below, it tells you something needs to be paid attention to. The more you are experiencing, and the greater the intensity, the more you need to stop now and address your situation.  

1  A loss of energy - You may sense a loss of physical, emotional or spiritual energy. The get up and go that normally characterizes you just isn't there.

You find yourself physically, emotionally or spiritually fatigued. Some have described feeling more and more spiritually hollowed out. And the sense of physical tiredness goes beyond just having a hard days work. It's something more pervasive. One day off or a holiday absolutely does not bring that sense of re-invigoration. You are running on empty.

2  A loss of involvement - You start to withdraw from things you would normally be involved in. Signs of burnout at work may include withdrawing from people or from certain work situations in favor of being alone. There is almost an expressed indifference to projects, programs and causes that normally would engage your interests and passions.

You may even find yourself becoming cynical, irritated or seeing people as interruptions when it's not the case at all. When it comes right down to it, you feel like you are going through the motions of leadership, but somehow disconnected from it.

3  A loss of effectiveness - Your ability to perform as effectively as you once did is compromised. Performance suffers. The quality of work goes down. You're not a sharp as you normally are. Decision-making isn't as crisp and decisive. Communications are unclear and quality leadership is lacking.

Others around you may be increasingly frustrated by your behaviors. All these burnout symptoms are beginning to affect them. It's not that you lack these skills but that you seem unable to summon them when you need them. 

On the flip side of this, even if you did recognize the signs of burnout at work, you may be the type of person who would just "push through." Nothing is going to remain undone with excellence on your watch. Performance "will not" suffer. This too is equally as perilous. You might be in serious trouble, and in your tunnel vision, not acknowledge what's going on until you collapse from it.

4  A loss of health and a sense of well-being - What does job burnout feel like? Stress weakens the immune system and our ability to fight off disease or minor health problems. You may have a sense of not just feeling as well as you normally do. That general feeling of malaise hangs on.

You may experience any number of things happening to your body which don't seem to tie together and don't seem to have an explanation. Remember the effects of adrenaline: poor sleeping, aches and pains, stomach problems, unable to relax, and a host of others. You just don't feel as well as you know you should be feeling.

5  A loss of a sense of control - Where you once felt you had some control in what was happening, your confidence has waned, or maybe even plummeted.

Circumstances don't seem great. You are being tasked with achieving certain results, but you don't have all the levers in your hands to make it happen. Another individual (or several) control what you need to "do your job" well.

Maybe it's systemic. The way things are set up and operate only create challenges and lead to stress. Demands are being made of you that you see as unreasonable.

Showing up each day to face what's going on is a mountain to climb. 

"I am Burned Out." That's a Big Weight to Carry.


While I can hardly capture the physical, emotional, systemic, and social totality of what people are feeling, I invite you to reflect a little more on what burnout feels like here.

In one sense it will sound simple .. it feels like too much, and it feels like not enough.

Take some time to think about this. Ask yourself the questions - What am I experiencing that is too much? What am I experiencing that is too little?  

Perhaps it will allow you to more easily describe your own situation and feelings.

You can read the definition of burnout here.

We Need to Mention Depression

Depression is something quite different and really serious. If that's the kind of help you think you might need, this symptoms of depression page will be helpful.  

"Gary’s calm approach and practical experience quickly won me over.  He was able to help me think outside the box and address the issues that were present for me at work.  The great thing is that the help I received from Gary also spilled over into my personal life."  Manager

Paying Attention to the Signs of Getting Burned Out Means You Can Do Something About It


Signs of burnout at work show up in different ways for different leaders and professionals.

These "signals" are telling you something.

Just like a lighthouse, they are giving you the signal to pay attention to what's happening.

Make needed adjustments now. Contact me and initiate a conversation about coaching to avoid or deal with burnout. I want you working and leading with greater satisfaction and recovered effectiveness. 

“You'll also be happy to know that I scheduled some time off/away. I know we aren't talking this Monday but I just wanted to give you an update since it was an emotionally exhausting week.  I do feel like I took control faster than I have in the past. Thanks Gary” CEO

As an Executive Coach, I'd Like to Support You Through Burnout and Beyond 

Take advantage of the benefits of executive coaching. Avoid burnout altogether. And, if you are endeavoring to lead while carrying this heavy load, contact me. I know how to provide the support you need.

Over many years I have coached leaders and executives dealing with overload or burnout. If you are experiencing any combination of these signs of burnout, an initial conversation will determine if and how I might assist you or point you to additional help.

Call my office at 705.687.2711 or send me a message here.

You have a contribution to make. I'd like to help you do that. 

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