Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Avoiding Career Burn Out

I have been extraordinarily busy. Just when I thought I was maxed out, I got really maxed out. Now, this "busy" is heavily tied to my work. I have taken on a leadership role that requires long hours at times, high stakes at others, and the occasional crisis management. I love being where I am, but I've never in my life been the Chief Executive at the helm of a booming business. Might sound like a good stable career slot, but nothing good, comes easy.

Being the CEO has meant less time at home with family, more time feeling critiqued as a leader, and plenty of time navigating ups and downs. To keep it all grounded I recently took a deep dive at my current work pressures and realized that because of work I can be anxious a lot of the time. This anxiety isn't sustainable or anything I was used to. 

As a result the following is my new routine - a routine any busy career women can adopt:

Work in moderation: might sound crazy but overdoing it is a sure way to get burned out. If you must work long days then make sure to schedule total and compete off days. This week I am angling for 1.5 of those. I understand this may not work for those with constantly demanding careers. However, at this point, weighing the options of what one's willing to miss (time with family, balance, reduced stress levels) due to a demanding job is key.

Ask for help: one sure fire way to lose it is to take on too much. In my field of social services, it's easy to wear one two many hats. This however becomes all consuming and when it's time to relax I find myself having too many responsibilities to push any one thing off. I don't have to do it all and reminding myself to outsource or simply ask for assistance from staff and volunteers makes a positive impact. So always, always, always, ask for help.

Put YOU (and your family) first: sounds good in theory, but we don't do this enough in a capitalist society. Work, work, work becomes the drill and our personal lives fall to the wayside. If you're compromising this for work then true happiness is on the line. Putting yourself (& family) first doesn't mean quiting a high stress job, it means knowing when to let go of the work and be you outside of that space. For me, this comes in the form of making sure I spend quality time with me (alone), with the hubby (alone) and kids (individually). No matter how crazy my schedule and life's demands are, I volunteer in classrooms, schedule one on one date nights with my children/spouse, and make sure to show me (and the fam bam) total care and concern.

How do you manage a busy work/life schedule? 

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