A year and a half into the great recession, it’s a personal catastrophe to lose your job, but an altogether more common tragedy to lose interest in your job.
Even what was once a dream position can become a feet-shuffling drag after rounds of layoffs, pay cuts, revoked promotion possibilities and job description tweaks.
The key to keeping your mind, body, career and reputation in positive health is to watch out for burnout.
“For a prolonged period, have you felt exhausted, cynical and ineffective at your job?” asks Dallas-based career mentor Cindy Pladziewicz. “You kind of lose your spirit. ... That’s burnout.”
It’s today’s quietly raging workplace epidemic, agrees Maggie Mistal, host of Sirius Radio’s Making a Living. In fact, many employees may feel guilty for even acknowledging such inner career fatigue.
“In this economy, there’s not even a outlet for venting about it,” says Mistal. “It still comes back to, ‘Oh, you should be lucky to have a job.’”
But there’s no reason a job you’re lucky to have shouldn’t feel like a job you’re lucky to have, if you’re willing to reinvest yourself emotionally.
“You have to start off by being realistic about where you are,” says Pladziewicz, who recommends seeking new roles and keeping a work diary if you’re not sure what motivates you.
“Notice those moments where you’re engaged,” she suggests.