As news made its way to popular morning shows on television and radio, after the World Health Organization (WHO) went on record…and hit the Twitterverse…with an official diagnosis for “Burnout”, you could almost hear a collective gasp as thousands upon thousands of people on social media and in office break rooms sighed, “Finally!”
…and some people (raises hand) said, “Duh!”
Initial reports characterized the classification as a medical diagnosis, but the WHO clarified the diagnosis as “AN OCCUPATIONAL PHENOMENON” which may require professional attention.
Officially recognized as the root of depression, stress and the lack of feeling in control, by the medical community, this (obvious to some) diagnosis is directly linked to your job. It’s “a workplace syndrome” and the sickness you might be feeling is toxic and REALLY bad for your health.
According to the World Health Organization, Burnout Symptoms include:
1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
2. Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to one’s job.
3. Reduced professional efficacy.
The ICD-11, (that’s the World Heath Organization’s handbook to guide medical providers in diagnosing diseases), notes that burnout is specific to occupation and “should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
Well, no offense to the World Health Organization, but most people know the symptoms that lead to a “Burnout Diagnosis” in the workplace are the basis of and can lead to other disease…or dis-ease…in the body. From a physical, mental and emotional standpoint, Burnout impacts ALL areas of your life, and it impacts all the people who care about you and vice versa.
It almost goes without saying, since it is quite obvious that a persons job is at the heart of how they function and run the rest of their lives. Except someone has to say it if the WHO won’t. So I guess that someone is me…just over here stating the obvious.
You might be asking, “Who are you? Who, who, who, who?” (couldn’t help myself)
Well, I am NOT a medical doctor. I am NOT making any medical claims. Nope.
I’m just using deductive logic and my own, personal, real-life experience in the “soul-killing” environment of Corporate America. (to quote the synopsis of the movie, “Office Space”)
I remember the days when the word “Burnout” was used to describe someone who spent most of their time smoking pot and watching Cheech and Chong movies. That kind of burnout and the diagnosis the WHO has reached sit at the very opposite ends of the spectrum. In actuality, however, the research on “Burnout” dates back to the early 70’s before those guys even blazed onto the screen.
A famous psychologist (Herbert Freudenberger) raised concerns about the symptoms of burnout and how it impacted society at large. Those concerns have been widely discussed over the years and, until now, weren’t considered serious problems or legitimate medical conditions.
So way back then, it seems, that guy knew what has finally caught up to us some 45 years later. Loosely put, we aren’t meant to be working all the time, working in jobs that don’t serve our higher purpose (no pun intended) or in environments with people or influences that cause our bodies to seize up in a constant state of stress induced fight-or-flight.
No matter how many people in your life told you that there is only one way to be successful and happy, and that you must “work hard”, “endure”, “tough it out”, “suck it up”, and no matter how long you’ve internalized those beliefs and clung to that job…a job you hate…like a life-preserver, there is a better way of working to live.
It’s fair to say many people experience a bad day at the office, but far too many Americans are feeling forced to accept the toxic climate of their workplace in the name of making money and supporting their families. This removes choice and purpose and backs one into a corner of living to work. That’s no life, at all!
In addition, poor management in United States-based companies accounted for up to 8% of annual health costs and was associated with 120,000 deaths each year!
So, unless you relish the idea of one foot in the grave, your health practically depends on finding a better way to marry your life with meaningful work that doesn’t run you into the ground!
While you can find a full range of the symptoms associated with the World Health Organization’s “Burnout Diagnosis” on their website, I can tell you that if you already suspect you’re experiencing this particular “workplace syndrome” then you might just want to cut to the chase and find a new career path!
At the very least, begin engaging in a side-gig with a nominal investment that enables you to create your own schedule around what is important to you. Find a spare-time/part-time opportunity that gives you hope and a residual source of income that will help decrease stress in your financial picture.
You might even find the servant leadership of being in business for yourself…but not by yourself…aids in leading a life of purpose by helping others achieve the kind of freedom you begin experiencing as someone in the relationship marketing industry.
It’s important to mention that this industry comes with excellent tools to help with personal development…which is a (in my humble opinion) more enjoyable way of weeding through mental blocks, gaining clarity, finding direction and implementing a growth mindset. Personal development is key to limiting negativity in your life and the cornerstone of encouraging positivity.
And then there are the more obvious ways of enjoying deeply, meaningful therapeutic time for yourself that comes with incentivized rewards…like all-inclusive bonus trips to luxury resorts set in tropical paradise, car allowances and monthly/yearly bonus checks that you just can’t earn as easily, or as often, if you’re grinding it out and working “Eight to Faint” in Corporate America.
Learning more about becoming a small business owner in the networking space is a step in the right direction to taking your life back! It sure beats sacrificing more time, effort, energy and even…according to the World Health Organization…your health trying to keep up with the rat race.
This might be the best remedy you never knew you needed! Keep an open mind and reach out to the person who shared this article or newsletter with you.