Employee Burnout Is Real

One aspect of my resume writing service that I particularly enjoy is the insight it gives me to workers in different industries. I get to experience the typical personality traits that are associated with creative or technical fields. The patterns, while not absolute, serve to soothe the part of me that thrives on consistency, while individual deviations from the norm are surprising and refreshing.

A recent client came across as bitter in her initial communications. She insisted she wanted a new job, one where she did not have to manage people anymore. The alternative fields she suggested, however, would also include a fair amount of human interaction, so I had to probe deeper to find out what I could do for her.

It turns out that this highly skilled professional was near the end of her rope, not because of some quirk in her personality that made her anti-social, but because her current position was beating her down. The most egregious story she told me about conditions on her current job, where she worked for the past 8 years, involved cleaning up human waste left behind by a demoted co-worker whom the boss refused to fire.

How Long Can You Go Without a Compliment?

Despite this woman’s success in adding process efficiencies and increasing profits for the business, her boss took all the credit with the corporate office and left her feeling used and unappreciated. Her ideal workday, as she described it to me, would involve uninterrupted focus on important duties and a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day.

If only I could instantaneously pluck her out of that shit-show and drop her into a world of self-satisfaction…

Reading this employee’s story reminded me of my boss-phobic days (years) and made me want to slam my laptop shut to escape the flood of toxic emotions threatening to suck me back into the horrible world of job frustration. If only I could instantaneously pluck her out of that shit-show and drop her into a world of self-satisfaction… All I could do was promise her, from the other side of employment hell, that there was a happy place out there for her where she could continue to cultivate her skills and be appreciated for the successes she created, for customers as well as the boss.

What’s Wrong With Some Bosses?

If only her boss realized that not only was he contributing greatly to his own misfortune but that he was ruining a very productive member of our workforce. This employee is going to leave his company and become a negative ambassador for the company if she isn’t already.

I’ve met bosses like this before (haven’t we all?) He will be the first one to complain that she was not grateful for the job and left the company thinking she was worth more money. Then, he’ll probably take his time replacing her, putting added stress on everyone else. He may even be so arrogant as to believe the company didn’t need her anyway, and that a much “cheaper” replacement will do.

The Real Victims

As I learned more about this woman’s work history, I discovered that at heart she really is a “people-person.” She excels at management and customer service because she is focused on helping people improve their situation. Her understanding of processes of service delivery is part of what makes her successful, and her big-picture business acumen helps drive profits.

Instead of being proud of the skills she demonstrated on this job, she will spend the next couple years hiding from the type of work where she can make a real difference. She will seek shelter in a quiet office where she interacts with the world through a screen, dumbing down her capabilities to protect her self-concept from further abuse.

If you are the victim of employee burnout, don’t give up. Dust off your resume and move on before the trajectory of your career is forever negatively altered. There are good bosses out there who will show their appreciation for your talents and the efforts you make every day.

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