Job Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action

Job burnout is a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.

  • Speaking or emailing in exclamation points—SURE I can do that! Ab-so-LUTE-ly!  You’re the boss! 
  • Twitching eyes and/or gastrointestinal issues.
  • Sitting in your car in the parking lot outside your office scream-singing IS SOMEONE GETTING THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST, THE BEST OF YOU and vowing to make today the day you work on your resume, goddamit.
  • Coming home right after work every day to slide into some pajamas and binge watch Law and Order: SVU until you fall asleep using a pizza box as a pillow.
  • Scrolling social media for an hour once you get to work—Oh look, my ex got a promotion. FML.
  • Chronically cracked phone screens.
  • Shitting in the workplace bathroom for way longer than you would at home.

What causes burnout?

  • Lack of control. An inability to influence decisions that affect your job.
    • Such as being put in charge of a filing project with that asshole Rob who always smells like Limburger cheese and Axe body spray.
    • Such as the fact that your boss always has that sticky white blech at the corner of his mouth when he talks.
    • Such as no wifi.
    • Such as slow wifi.
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, or you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work. This can contribute to job stress.
    • Perhaps you’re the only person at work who doesn’t use the word supposebly.
    • Perhaps it’s receiving emails from your boss several times a day while he’s working from home entitled “just checking in” or “one more thing.”
    • Perhaps it’s that dickhole Carl who makes fish in the microwave every other day.
  • Poor job fit. If your job doesn’t fit your interests and skills, it might become increasingly stressful over time.
    • For example, you have a bachelor’s and/or a master’s degree in, well, anything, and you spend a good part of your day filing sales receipts until one day you open up the cabinet and dump them all under “F” for fuck this shit.
    • For example, the break room is always fully stocked . . . with Maxwell House and powdered creamer.
    • For example, the one and only thing on your bucket list is to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights but you’re so deep in debt and underpaid that when you learn you can see them from some spots in the USA, you scratch out Iceland and replace it with Minnesota—followed by the doubling of your antidepressant dosage.

Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have significant consequences.

  • Including the urge to scream, “NO ONE GIVES A FUCK, DOUG,” as he stands there pouring the last bit of coffee into his “I’m Da Man” mug giving a Ted Talk about his recent foray into the Ketogenic lifestyle—I’ve had four eggs atop a bed of beef crumbles already and it’s not even 10 AM!—when all you said was hey.
  • Including the impulse to take a long warm piss on your boss’s office chair while he’s at lunch.
  • Including no longer leaving your farts in an empty room but pushing the long and hot ones right out into your cubicle, your bosses office, or in the conference room—mid-meeting.

If you’re concerned about job burnout, take action.

  • Weep openly at your desk—deep, heaving sobs. Throw in the word menstruation.
  • Hit “reply all” on every single email while pretending you don’t know how annoying that is.
  • “Accidentally” spill a cup of steaming hot coffee on your work-issued laptop.
  • Pay for an entire year of a gym membership, not the month-to-month option because you are definitely going to stick with it this time.
  • When your bestie who works at a different, but equally soul-sucking job, sends you an email with the subject “You GOTTA see this,” open it because how good can it be? When you see the giant penis Brad Pitt is (allegedly) sporting, let out a squeal so loud it attracts the attention of your boss who is standing one cubicle away.

Keep an open mind as you consider the options. Don’t let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health.


Everything that is not a bullet point was taken from this article on the Mayo Clinic’s website. Follow the badge below to join me at YeahWrite for this week’s challenge.

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22 thoughts on “Job Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action

      1. I’ll be sharing this with some colleagues. I don’t think I have laughed this hard since I saw the movie ‘Office Space’. Well deserved win 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I think I’ve read this about 50 times and sent it to most of my friends. I can’t pick my favorite part of this, although “SHUT THE FUCK UP DOUG!” comes pretty close. I wish I could find something constructive to say, but for me it’s kind of perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahahahaha! Lisa, you’re the best. “Including no longer leaving your farts in an empty room but pushing the long and hot ones right out into your cubicle, your bosses office, or in the conference room—mid-meeting.” LOL!!!! You made me snort my coffee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was hilarious. I am feeling burned out in my job and trying to find ways to be “positive” at work and “mindful.” But it feels good sometimes to just lay out these frustrations as they are. Also the Maxwell House coffee and powdered creamer struggle is REAL. ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

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