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How to Know if Your Burnout Is Killing You

For the past week and a half, the words “rest” and “burnout” keep coming up. Every conversation I’ve had this week has included the discussion of burnout and the need for rest from it. And just about every article I’ve read has mentioned the importance of rest and avoiding burnout.

Perhaps this theme is circulating because it’s now summer time (my favorite season!). Summer is typically thought of as a season of down time and rest.

But perhaps it’s circulating because so many of us have been working so hard we’re starting to experience the effects of burnout.

I have several new clients coming to me because they’re experiencing burnout in their current jobs and recognize a need for a change. I also can easily experience burnout if I don’t take time to rest.

And just last month, the World Health Organization redefined burnout as an actual syndrome linked to unmanageable chronic workplace stress. There’s been a lot of buzz about this new medical classification of burnout since it was announced. Perhaps this is also the reason the topic of rest keeps coming up.

Hidden Signs of Burnout You Shouldn’t Ignore

The syndrome for burnout includes several physical, emotional, and cognitive warning signs:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling like you’re constantly failing
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Re-upping a bad habit (i.e. if you previously quit smoking but started up again due to the stress from your job)
  • Dizziness and headaches

Do any of these things describe how you’ve been feeling lately? If so, first, do what you can to find the time needed to get some rest! Second, you might need to consult a physician. Then, you might want to consult a career coach to help you make some changes either in your current job or to a new job.

Quote: “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.” Unknown

Burnout is Toxic

In fact, if you want to live longer, a recent article says one of the 30 things you can do to live longer is to establish more balanced work hours.

The article criticizes the fact that our current work culture has made it acceptable to work over 40 hours a week, to work through lunch and breaks, and to come in early and leave late.

Another article states if management has little or no concern for work-life balance on a daily basis, this is one of  eight signs your workplace is extremely toxic.

This means you feel like you have to sacrifice your personal life and family for your job on a regular basis. Which is evidenced by more hours per week, little to no vacation time, and 24/7 availability for work communication.

How to Reduce Burnout by Making Good Decisions

This lack of balance has become our “new normal,” and it needs to return to the “old normal” if we want to be productive both in our jobs and our personal lives.

Of course this is easier said than done. It will require a culture shift in the world of work. While the shift has begun, it still has a long way to go before the pendulum will swing back to what’s considered realistic.

But there are things you can do as an individual to start making this shift in your own personal and professional life.

This includes learning how to negotiate win-win scenarios with your current supervisor when asked to take on additional responsibilities. This is something I help several of my clients with. In fact, I’m currently working with a client on this very thing.

It also includes learning to make good decisions when seeking new opportunities. Always choose those opportunities that support your personal mission statement and turn down those that don’t.

Think about what you value above a just the monetary return on an opportunity.

Quote: “There are four types of wealth:

  1. Financial wealth (money)
  2. Social wealth (status)
  3. Time wealth (freedom)
  4. Physical wealth (health)

Be wary of jobs that lure you in with 1 and 2, but rob you of 3 and 4.” @entrepreneursquote

It’s Okay to Rest and Do Nothing

It’s okay and necessary to do what it takes to recover from your burnout. This means getting the rest you need, and also spending some time just doing nothing.

If you’re like me, it’s hard to just do nothing. But The New York Times published an article by Bonnie Tsui which assures us we’re doing something important when we aren’t doing anything at all. Tsui says,

“We need to rest, read, and reconnect. It is the invisible labor that makes creative life possible.”

I had the opportunity to do so a week and a half ago. Every summer I take a weekend to myself to drive up to Kentucky to the Abbey of Gethsemani for a silent retreat. I spend a weekend in silence reflecting on the first half of the year, reading, and thinking about how to be more intentional in the remaining half of the year.

It is so tranquil and renewing to my mind and soul. I always come back rested and refreshed. (Click here to read more about what a silent retreat looks like and how to sign up for one yourself).

Since tomorrow is a holiday (and not a stressful one like the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays), I encourage you to spend this holiday and this weekend getting some quiet time and some rest, both alone and with your family.

Doing so will give you the clarity and energy you need to make some necessary changes moving forward in your career. Whether it’s learning to manage your manager, carving out some work-life balance, or making a career change to something healthier. Let me know how I can help!

Related Posts:

burnout

Summer Reading: How to Find Work You Love and Make More Money

It’s finally summer! Last Friday marked the official first day of summer. I spent this past weekend getting a jump start on my summer reading list. Do you have your summer reading list yet?

Reading is fundamental in growing your passions and improving your career. Without it you may never discover your true passions. There may be a passion in your future you’ve never heard of and never will until you read about it. Reading also helps you grow your career by keeping you abreast of the ever-changing world of work.

Therefore, I’ve listed below a recommended summer reading list. It includes my own books I’ve had published over the years and most recently. It also includes summer reading recommendations of some awesome books by other authors.

This selection is designed to help you pursue work you love and grow in a career that satisfies your passions. Enjoy and happy summer reading!

Lori’s Books

 

summer readingGet Your Resume Read! (*NEW*)

This small book is a collection of my blog posts I’ve written over the past three years specifically on the topic of resumes. It serves as both a stand-alone resource and a supplement to my on-demand program “Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets To Getting Your Resume Noticed”.

Though the book is small, it’s packed full of resume tips and advice to help you know how to make your resume marketable and competitive in today’s job market. Implementing these tips will dramatically increase the number of people opening your resume and reading it. This book also includes links to a variety of additional resources designed to help you create the best resume possible.

2 Ways to Get It (click on your preferred option):

  • Complimentary PDF download with purchase of on-demand video course or on-demand course bundle.
  • Kindle from Amazon (retail $4.99, no charge with Kindle Unlimited)

summer readingPersonal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic

Do you know what makes you unique? Everyone has to be able to answer this question, whether in an interview (“Why should we hire you?”) or in a pitch meeting (“Why should we sign you?” or “Why should we fund your idea?”).

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you have to be able to explain why you should be the one to accomplish it. This is why personal branding is so important. Are you comfortable talking about yourself in this way?

In this book you’ll learn:

  • The importance and purpose of personal branding.
  • How to develop your authentic brand.
  • Self-reflection exercises designed to help you see how your passions and abilities fit into your personal philosophy and career.
  • How others perceive you (I promise this isn’t as scary as it sounds!).
  • How valuable your unique skillset is and where it fits into the world around you.
  • Who can benefit from your skills and interests.
  • How to effectively and clearly communicate your value (to family, friends, and potential employers or clients).
  • A method for making the best decisions for your life and career.

As a result you’ll get:

  • Your very own personal mission and vision statements.
  • The ability to know which big decisions are the right decisions for you.
  • A better understanding of how you add value to the world.
  • Better knowledge of who your audience is and how you can best impact them.
  • The ability to think “big picture.”
  • Confidence in being yourself.
  • Feeling comfortable in your own skin and your own abilities.

4 Ways to Get It (click on your preferred option):

Additional Books by Lori

You can also purchase my other two books on Amazon:


Additional Recommended Summer Reading

 

summer reading Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans provides step-by-step instructions allowing you to experiment with different possible careers and roles for your life. These experiments lead to ways to design and build your life the way you want it to look at various life and career stages.

I’ve personally gone through the book myself, reading it twice and doing each exercise at least once. I choose which exercises I think would best suit my clients at their particular stage of career exploration and help guide them through those exercises. I’m also a member of the authors’ Facebook group for coaches and mentors. So, I use this book quite a bit when coaching my clients and therefore highly recommend it!

summer readingBody of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

Body of Work by Pamela Slim shows you how to make sense of all your diverse work experiences and the skills gained from them, and how to tie them all together to create a career portfolio and professional brand. This includes not just your “official” full-time job, but also your side jobs, passion projects, volunteer work, artistic creations, etc. All of those experiences can add up to future opportunities you may have never previously considered.

summer readingDo Over: Make Today the First Day of Your New Career

This book by Jon Acuff was actually recommended to me by one of my first clients to recommend to my other clients. It’s perfect for someone who is facing a major transition in their career, whether it be an unexpected lay-off, hitting a career ceiling, a change in role or job function, or an unexpected offer in another industry.

Do Over teaches you how to develop the four necessary elements of a successful career:  relationships, skills, character, and hustle.

summer readingWill It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time or Money

I have several clients considering starting their own business. This is a great book for them or anyone else thinking of starting their own business or side hustle. It guides readers through several litmus tests to help determine if their business idea is viable, prior to diving in with a huge time or money investment.

The author Pat Flynn (who’s known for teaching people how to create passive income streams) spends a big chunk of the book discussing the importance of having a personal mission statement and personal brand (see 2nd book listed above) prior to starting any kind of business idea. It truly is the first step to starting anything new in your life or career.

Will It Fly? helps you determine both the right reasons and the wrong reasons for starting your own business. Because it is so important to know these reasons, I did an entire group coaching call on this very topic with this book as the basis for the discussion.

Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business

I read The Rise of the Youpreneur on the heels of Will It Fly? It’s a good follow-up after you’ve done all the exercises from Will It Fly? and determined which of your business ideas are most viable and best support your personal mission.

Like Flynn’s book, The Rise of the Youpreneur is chock-full of exercises and online resources to help you get your business off the ground.

While I’d already been doing a lot of what the author Chris Ducker recommends to become a successful brand in my own coaching business, I hadn’t been doing all of it because it just seemed so overwhelming. Ducker’s book helped me to organize and prioritize all those things into manageable phases and steps.

Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly About Finances, and Live a Richer Life

I got a copy of Breaking Money Silence from the author Kathleen Burns Kingsbury herself when I heard her speak here in Nashville. It is BY FAR the best book on finances I’ve ever read.

Kingsbury delves into the emotional side of money. She talks about the various mindsets people have about money, explaining why money often creates unnecessary conflict between people. It dispels myths both men and women have about money. And it reveals the hidden costs of staying quiet about an often uncomfortable topic.

What I love most about this book is it provides tangible ways to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations about money between couples, children and aging parents, siblings, and more. It also helps readers see their worth and the importance of negotiating a fair salary with their employer, something I often teach my clients how to do.

Not only is this a great book for anyone who feels insecure about their knowledge of finances (or thinks they already know everything about finances), it’s also recommended for financial advisers so they can learn how to address the emotional side of money when working with their clients. There are exercises at the end of each chapter for both the interested reader and their financial advisers.

Of all the books on this list, this is the one I’d buy a copy for everyone if I could. I plan to keep my copy because I know I’ll refer back to it every time I need to.

summer readingSecrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life

Barbara Stanny’s book includes strategies to not just help women earn more money, but to also help them overcome their fears, limiting beliefs and self-imposed boundaries in their finances and other areas of their lives.

Biggest take away: Success isn’t if you go on to achieve your dream. It’s having the chance to find out if you can achieve your dream or not, so you won’t wonder all your life.

What career books do you recommend for some great summer reading?

summer reading

Sunday Inspiration: Get Some Rest

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”    Mk 6:31 NIV

Why did Jesus take time out to rest? So that when He worked, He’d be at His best.

And today He wants you to know that if you don’t take a break, you won’t get one. He wants you to survive the long haul, not just the short sprint.

And the first obstacle you need to overcome is guilt. That’s what makes us workaholics. We feel guilty and tell ourselves, “There’s just so much to do.”

Jesus handled life differently: “Because so many people were coming and going that [He and his disciples] did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me…to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves…to a solitary place” (vv. 31-32 NIV).

No time to eat, too many people coming and going, no time to take care of yourself—does that describe your life right now?

Some people say, “It’s better to burn out than rust out.” That’s poor advice, plus it’s not scriptural. You don’t burn out when you’re in the will of God!

Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:30).

And the reason He could say that was because people didn’t set His agenda, His heavenly Father did.

The psalmist said, “He maketh me to lie down” (Ps 23:2).

Wouldn’t you rather go to the park by choice than to the hospital by force? The fact is God won’t send you there, but your own lack of wisdom can.

Today Jesus is saying to you, “Get some rest,” and if you’re wise you will do it!

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/get-some-rest

Stop! Watch Out For These 10 Red Flags in Your New Job

You’ve finally found a job and have accepted an offer. Maybe it’s an offer you’re extremely excited about. Or maybe it’s an offer you took just to have a paycheck until the right job comes along.

Either way, it’s important to beware of any red flags you may notice in the first 90 days of your new job. These are things you DO NOT want to ignore!

What are those red flags?

Author and president of MathCelebrity Don Sevcik gives a great answer to this question. He’s spent over 20 years in what he calls “the corporate America cube farm” for a variety of companies, including Fortune 500 companies, mid-level companies, and start-ups.

Here are his thoughts on ten red flags you shouldn’t ignore.

The following list was originally published on Quora by author and business owner, Don Sevcik. He graciously allowed me to publish it here under a new format.

#1 of 10 Red Flags

Has your job, in the first few weeks, suddenly morphed into something different from the job role on your employment contract?

And, if you call management out on it, do they use silly phrases like not “being flexible”?

Congratulations! You’ve found your first red flag.

Note: if you learn nothing else from this post, “Flexible” and “Team Player” are code for “do more work, but don’t expect to get paid for it.”

Learn this quickly. Because the most important thing every morning is waking up, looking in the mirror, and being able to respect yourself.

Red Flag #2

If you work in a job as a “doer,” such as developer, builder of things, etc., do you find yourself booked up in many meetings?

Consider this red flag #2.

“Doers” should not be in too many meetings. Because (gasp!) they need time to actually do stuff.

If management cannot squash this early so you can do what you do best, you’ve found yourself at a mis-managed company.

Red Flag #3

In the first few weeks of joining a company, do you notice lots of “cliques” and keep running into “unexpected, unspoken rules”?

If so, you’ve dug up another red flag.

I remember years ago working at a company doing development. In my interview, I was crystal clear when I said, “I don’t like filling out a lot of paperwork to push code. I just want to code, test quickly, and push it out there.”

Alas, three weeks after getting hired, management “revealed” that every code push needs a three-page document filled out, a web form filled out, and three layers of approval just to get a change in. It was ridiculous.

The more red tape, the bigger the red flag.

Red Flag #4

Does your company push “social-time” off hours and unnecessary get-togethers? Do they overly push charities and social justice groups?

Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag.

Nowhere in any standard employment contract anywhere should it state you must be active with charity or social justice causes if you choose not to be.

Note from Lori: some of these events can be good in building your network and in giving back to the community. I think what Don is trying to say here is when it gets to be so much that it takes time away from your family or causes undue stress, then beware of this. The operative word in his statement is “unnecessary.”

Red Flag #5

Does your company value “in-office” time more than they do results and accomplishments during your work hours?

If so, you’ve found another archaic, and detrimental red-flag.

If I get eight hours of work done in two hours, then what I do after that shouldn’t matter. Because, it’s not like corporate will pay you more for additional effort.

Great bosses will let you leave early and give flex time when you pump out work quickly.

Red Flag #6

Do scheduled meetings always run over time, or start late, or both?

Time wasters are another red flag.

Also, meetings, especially corporate meetings, are notorious for posturing and politics. And if you aren’t a fan of meetings like me, then this is a HUGE red flag.

Meetings should have an agenda, allow no rambling, and get to the point quick. As in, who is doing what, who needs help, and when can we expect things to get done.

That’s it. No more.

Red Flag #7

Are you having a hard time finding a document about annual raises and bonuses? As in, you do “x” and “y”, and this is how you advance. And when you ask about it, does your manager hem and haw or avoid the subject?

You can find this red flag in 90% or more corporate jobs.

Red Flag #8

Do most people at or above your level use unnecessary buzz words to describe something? As in, can you find a word from grade 5 to grade 7 on the Flesch-Kincaid reading level to replace their silly buzzword, and not only keep the meaning of what they were trying to say, but enhance it?

Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag.

The key to communication is simplicity and clarity. And buzzwords violate both those rules.

If we can’t have a simple conversation about “my contract” and not my “annual incentive protocol,” then that’s a problem.

Red Flag #9

Are the dumbest people in the company promoted and are the superstars passed over or marginalized?

You’ve uncorked another red flag.

And this, like red flag #7, happens at 90% or more of corporate companies. It’s red flag football, and you never score a touchdown.

#10 of 10 Red Flags

Does your new company change “direction” every 2–4 weeks?

Pat yourself on the back detective. You’ve found another red flag.

If management cannot figure out what to do, and they get paid large coin to do one job, then you’ve found yourself in an insane asylum. Best to pull the cord and exit stage left.

Pay Attention to the Red Flags

Thank you to Don for sharing these warning signs.

I don’t promote continuing to interview for jobs after accepting an offer. But, I do recommend you keep your finger on the pulse of your new company and your eyes open for a back-up plan if things don’t work out in the first 90 days.

This includes maintaining your networking relationships and staying active on LinkedIn.

Even if you’ve done all the research you could possibly do before accepting an offer, there’s always a chance things will change.

Your supervisor could change due to a promotion or transfer.

Your role could change due to a merger or acquisition.

Anything can happen. So pay attention to the red flags!

Related Posts:

red flags

Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From The Competition (Re-Post)

Many of my clients come to me facing the daunting task of conducting a job search for the first time in 10 to 20 years and a lot has changed in that time. They are unaware of the modern interview advice available to them.

This is because most of the interview advice floating around the Internet is extremely outdated.

Not Your Grandma’s (Or Even Your Mama’s) Interview Advice

In fact, while recently helping a friend with her upcoming job search, I gave her some modern interview advice. She said she’d never heard of it before, and was shocked to learn it was something she could try.

“Do you mean I can actually do that for a job interview?” she exclaimed.

“Yes!” I said.

Modern Interview Advice

The advice I gave my friend was the same advice I had posted when answering the following question on Quora:  “What are some smart interview answers?”

Smart interview answers are ones that show you have the company’s best interests at heart. (And if you don’t really care about the company, you probably shouldn’t be interviewing for a job there.)

You should always make your answers about them, not about you (until it’s time to negotiate an offer, at which point you need to make it a win-win situation).

Steps to Smart Interview Answers

1. Find out the most immediate need.

Find out what the company’s most immediate need is they’re hoping the person in this position can fulfill.

Most candidates will ask this question during the job interview, but by then it’s too late! You must determine this before the interview!

You can do this in a couple of ways:

  1. Do your research on the company (which should be a given…always do your research before going into any interview!).
  2. And ask the person with whom you’ll be interviewing what their most immediate need is (prior to the interview!)

You do this as soon as the interview has been scheduled by HR. Simply email the person who will be interviewing you and let him or her know you’re looking forward to the interview. Then ask the following question,

“What is the main thing you hope the next person in this position will accomplish or help solve?”

(You’ll probably be the only candidate who does this, which will make you stand out in a good way.)


2. Brainstorm a solution.

Use the answer to this question as your foundation for preparing for the interview.

Brainstorm one or two possible ways you can use your strengths to help get the desired result.

Also, think of examples of times you’ve achieved similar results.


3. Create a proposal.

Summarize your ideas and your past examples in a one-page proposal.

You don’t have to have all the details of a full proposal. Just an outline of what you’re thinking will work.

If you don’t have enough information to come up with a solution to the company’s problem, you can at least create a one-page case study of a time where you previously solved a similar issue.

Indicate the challenge you were facing, the action you took, and your accomplishment or the results of your solution.


4. Show and tell.

Bring hard copies of this proposal or case study to the interview with you so you have something tangible to show.

Make sure to bring enough copies for each person with whom you’ll be interviewing.

Introduce it at any of the following points in your interview that feel right:

  • At the end of your answer to the question, “Tell us about yourself.” After you’ve described your skills, experience, and interest in the job, you can say you’ve given a lot of thought to the information the interviewer gave in your recent correspondence and you’ve put together some ideas of how your skills and experience can meet their specific needs. Let them know you’d be happy to share it with them. If they invite you to share it then, do so. If not, wait.
  • At any point in the conversation where the door clearly opens for you to share your proposal. For instance, if they ask how you would handle the problem or issue, then answer that question with your proposal by walking them through your handout.
  • If they ask, “Why should we hire you?” This question usually comes toward the end of an interview, so if you haven’t had the opportunity to introduce your proposal or case study yet, now’s your chance. You can summarize the strengths you have to offer and then say you’ve already given great thought to their most immediate needs and have drafted something you’d like to have the opportunity to implement if hired. Then walk them through your handout.
  • If at the end of the interview you still haven’t had the opportunity, when they ask if you have any questions for them, use this time to remind them of the question you asked prior to the interview. Then show them how you’ve given it thought by giving them your handout and asking if it is something they could benefit from.

Make sure you pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues on how receptive they are to learning more about your proposal. Only bring it out if they express an interest in hearing more about it.

I guarantee you’ll likely be the only candidate who shows up to the interview with an idea or solution in hand.


Taking the time and effort to speak to the company’s most immediate need shows you really care about working for that company, which will make you stand out from today’s competition in a big way!

Want More Modern Interview Advice?

For more modern interview advice, check out the paNASH on-demand program The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers. It includes proven job search strategies that blow all the cookie-cutter strategies out of the water!

Related Post:

What You Need to Know About Job Interviews of The Modern Era

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