Do you struggle to pinpoint why you’re burnt out at work? Is it you? Is it your job?
It may actually be a mismatch of the two, according to Christina Maslach, a social psychologist, retired professor of psychology at U.C. Berkeley and author of “The Burnout Challenge: Managing People’s Relationships with Their Jobs.”
“You really have to look at the relationship with the job, and that means looking at both the job and the person. It’s not like one or the other,” Maslach tells CNBC Make It.
“It’s certainly not just the person who has to make the changes.”
The cure for burnout isn’t just taking time off or a starting a mindful morning routine, but it’s actually discovering how to get a better match between what your job requires of you and the tools you have to complete your duties, she says.
Maslach, and co-author of her book, Michael P. Leiter, identified six areas within your profession that should meet your standards, or else your risk of more stress and potential burnout increases.
Here are the six factors and how they may be affecting you.
It can be extremely difficult to meet high demands when you’re low on resources, says Maslach.
Lacking supportive tools like time, people, equipment or information may be affecting your ability to do your job how you’d like to.
Having autonomy, discretion and an ability to make choices are necessary in the workplace in order to feel like you’re doing your job well, she notes.
“People often complain about having a lack of control, that they’re told what to do, no ifs, ands or buts about it,” she says.
The way you feel about your salary and benefits can influence your emotions toward work. But, rewards aren’t just limited to finances.
“A lot of times, it’s social recognition, that people are pleased by what you’ve done and let you know it,” Maslach says. If you’re working hard and aren’t receiving positive feedback, you’re more likely to feel unjustified.
From co-workers, bosses, and people you supervise to clients, patients, or students, everyone you interact with while working can affect your feelings about your job. Without mutual respect, trust, and support within your team, even the best job can turn into a “socially toxic workplace” that you hate, says Maslach.
“Where there’s an absence of fairness, this is where discrimination lives. This is where glass ceilings exist,” Maslach says.
Rules, policies and practices should feel equal in your work environment or it can lead to resentment, she adds. You need to believe that you have an equal chance at receiving promotions and just as many opportunities as the rest of your team.
You’re a lot more likely to quit your job if it doesn’t align with your basic moral principles, says Maslach.
Working for a company or organization where there are ethical conflicts can deter you from feeling enthusiastic about what you do, she notes.
How to approach an imbalance in these areas
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