By Boris Herzberg

photo cred:
photo cred:

It is better to prevent burnout at work than to treat it after it happens. Once someone enters this dull routine from which one only craves to escape, it requires serious involvement and sometimes psychological treatment.

But is there a way to prevent burnout without experiencing and treating it? The answer is yes!

What you need to do is to pay attention to the following signs that put you in the risk group to burn out at work:

1. Your job does not provide space for professional and personal growth

Human beings strive to evolve and learn new things. Once we reach the glass ceiling of possibilities, we lose interest and switch our attention to more interesting things. You would be better off building your career in a way that every position teaches you something new and gives you a new set of skills that could also be used outside of the work environment.

2. Your work does not correspond to your personality

We are all born different from one another. Every one of us has his or her natural inclinations and strong traits. Use a people-person to file away papers and voila! – a bitter employee is created. Place a quiet individual that appreciates her seclusion to manage a group of people – the result is the same. Does your work correspond to your personality? Only you know the answer.

3. You get less than you give

Employees are frequently expected that they invest all they have into work, which is the norm. A question should be asked by you though – do I get as much as I give? Sometimes the answer is not obvious – the monetary compensation can be good but the emotional toll or mental pressure is way too high.

4. You are continuously limited

Strict nine-to-five hours with no late arrivals, no-talking policy, know-your-place, your voice isn’t heard, your initiative is stifled, and the list goes on. All that contributes to the feeling of dullness and lack of motivation. It’s no wonder that frequently burnt-out workers move on to create their own businesses where they have more freedom and flexibility.

5. You do not maintain balance in life

We read and hear a lot about how important it is to combine work with other fields. Coaching divides the life of each individual into four fields:

  1. Professional/career
  2. Family/relationships
  3. Friendship/social circles
  4. Hobbies/leisure.

If you are fulfilled in them all, you are happy. Keeping a good balance between these fields is key; do not neglect any of them.

photo credit: Pinterest
photo credit: Pinterest

How to prevent burnout?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I a good fit for my profession/position in terms of personality/inclinations/strong traits? Can I make a smart move where the fit is more aligned? Can I ask for a department change, for example?
  • Do I see myself doing what I am doing now in five years? What can I do now so that in five years I could be doing what I am meant to do?
  • Am I sufficiently fulfilled in all four fields (professional/career, family/relationships, friendship/social circles, hobbies/leisure)? How can I make improvements in each one?

Career burnout is a very real and difficult condition, but with proper introspection, guidance, learning, and the right calculated moves, it is possible to move from surviving to thriving.


Boris Herzberg is a life coach and consultant. He consults people in the fields of career & business, relationships & family, self-development and also helps resolve emotional issues. Boris is married and a father to three loveable kids. University graduate, for many years he had been working in the fields of Intellectual Property, Business Development and International Trade until he found his true calling, which is helping people help themselves and live a happier life. He’s been actively consulting and coaching since 2009, accumulating thousands of frontal hours with clients on different issues. In addition to that, he regularly conduct group trainings and seminars. Contact Boris on [email protected].

In 2001, I was on the brink of burnout, and let me tell you, it was no walk in the park. You can read about my experience here, I’d like to know, are you burning out at work? Are you thriving, or merely surviving in your career? Any tips on overcoming burnout yourself, please share them below.