I was clearing out a bookcase this weekend and came across a book I bought more than 20 years ago: “Beating Job Burnout” by Dr Donald Scott. I bought it at a time when I had a very pressured fulltime job in a competitive corporate environment. I really was at the point where getting into the office on time in the morning was difficult for me, where telephone calls from certain people could turn me into a shaking wreck, where the idea of going into a meeting would start my heart pounding. Job Burnout was a real possibility. And it seems like a lifetime away now.
What I learned from the experience was that job burnout could not be isolated from the other parts of my life, each part of my life influenced the others. I grew up as a sweet little girl, always trying to look good for my parents and teachers, setting a foundation of people pleasing behaviour and perfectionism which became very difficult to live up to. Relationships were a challenge as I did not know how to ask and get my own needs met.
Now I am not saying this book turned my life around, in fact reading it now, it’s a little dated and perhaps a bit pompous, but it does stress how important it is to look at the whole problem. I needed to recalibrate my life. It took time, but I worked out what I needed to grow and develop in many different areas and put my job in the appropriate place in my life; which was not first place.
It was the start of my journey to my degree in psychology, my training as a coach, even my journey to becoming a mother, and to married life! (my husband would laugh here). I am grateful for the experience, as with all the life experiences which have made me who I am today. And I guess it’s part of the reason why I work with many people who want to change their career, or to come back into the workplace after a burnout themselves. There is a way out, and it can lead to amazing new opportunities if you are ready to look at all aspects of your life, and get open and ready for change.
If you have similar feelings to what I describe here, do get in touch and see what we can do together to change this.