Recently, I encountered several situations, told by different people, which can be reduced to one scenario: I achieved professional success, I did not see a further path of development, I stopped liking it, the work began to me off, I started a new career path. In this post, I will share with you my observations in this area.
Who is predisposed to such a state of mind?
There is a group of people who, after reaching a certain position in their professional career, are satisfied and feel good about it for the rest of their professional career. There is also a group of people who are satisfied with working in rank-and-file positions, as long as the money agrees and to have peace at work. There is also a group of people who, without development and new challenges, suffocate, cannot find a place and finally carry out a professional revolution. Probably a few other groups could be defined, but for this article, a rough division into three groups is enough.
In my opinion, the third group is people who have the greatest predisposition to burnout. From my observations, it appears that these are people focused on achieving goals and very often they are people who constantly want to expand their knowledge. I recently read an article about such people that they are a treasure for the company, but also a huge challenge at the same time. It is easy to overload them with work because they are happy to accept new tasks. It is also easy to bore them, because constantly performing the same tasks, does not expand their knowledge and they are simply bored.
In the Gallup “Strengths Finder” test, there is one feature that perfectly describes people who have such a trait in them. It’s called “Learner.” People who have such a trait, on the one hand, have a talent to assimilate new knowledge and implement it in life, on the other hand, if they cannot learn, they get tired.
I have this quality, and I’ve always wondered how it is that people might not want to learn. They get a certain level of education and that’s enough for them. I can’t do that. I’ve tried to tell myself enough, but it doesn’t work in the long run. Yes, I can stop for a moment. Spending my free time doing nothing, but two months, that’s the longest I’ve been able to endure in such a state. I used to think it was because I’m young. When I get older, I will be relieved. So far, it has not been rejected.
How can the burnout mechanism work?
Based on the accounts of the people I mentioned earlier and my observations, I was able to identify one of the possible mechanisms of the appearance of burnout syndrome. After graduation, we “catch” work. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but for starters it is. If there is an opportunity to develop at work, it is good, if there is not, we change jobs. Focusing on the development and implementation of acquired knowledge in professional work usually leads to promotion. Usually, there is some kind of professional promotion, but also a family. It is known that everyone wants to live at the best possible level, so in addition to the desire to develop, there is also financial motivation. Financial motivation combined with the need to ensure the safety of the family is usually able to suppress the need for development for several years. Somewhere in there, we are learning something, as if it is needed at work, so somehow it goes.
However, there comes a moment in life when we have our financial needs met. There is income stabilization, some housing, and car savings. Then there is a reflection that what we do in our work are, of course, challenges, but all of them no longer bring satisfaction. They are all the same at some level of the general public. Changing jobs doesn’t help, because it’s still the same industry problems. We know the solution to the problem. It usually differs only in certain details. A terrifying thought arises in my head: will I learn nothing by the end of my days? This thought for people in need of constant development is unbearable.
As of today, I know of two solutions to this issue. One is to change the industry. Jumping into a new industry is difficult, but being properly prepared can be a salvation. At least for a few or a dozen years, there is a potential to learn new things and use your previous experience. If, by the way, it turns out that in a given industry you have to constantly learn new things, then perhaps there will be enough challenges for the rest of your professional career. Certainly, such a job is running your own business. The enormity of challenges and the need to constantly follow the market forces you to learn every day.
Another idea is to find yourself a hobby that requires constant learning. This requires a firm cut-off of professional life from personal life, which also brings several benefits. Nowadays, the amount of knowledge available on the Internet is probably endless. It’s easy to find an interesting field in which you can develop and you can share the knowledge you have gathered with others in your unique way. This motivates further development in a given field and allows you to satisfy the hunger for continuous development.
Does this exhaust the topic of burnout?
Of course not. This is just one of the possible patterns that I was able to observe. I succeeded because I have a constant hunger for knowledge and observing myself, and having the opportunity to observe several other people, I recognized such a scheme. Knowing the cause, I know how to deal with the problem. I encourage you to observe yourself and the people around you. It always helps if there are questions about life about the meaning of the actions taken every day. In my opinion, the answers are indeed in Us, but it is also true that the observation of the external environment helps to reach the answer.