Job burnout, as described in Psychology Today, is a prolonged response to job-related stress. If you suffer from burnout, you may be emotionally and physically exhausted, cynical, and inefficient. This happens across a wide range of professions and affects not only your quality of life but, more importantly, your health. People with job burnout suffer impaired immunity, have sleeping problems, and can show signs of depression.

Burnout is not just about working long hours. New research has found that it occurs because of a mismatch between our subconscious motivations and the demands of our job. One journal describes it as what can eventually happen when you are not in control of how you carry out your job, when you are working toward goals that don’t resonate with you and when you don’t have the social support of friends or family.

Think about an accountant who is outgoing, enjoys being in the company of others and seeks out close social relationships but, on the job, mostly works alone and has hardly any contact with colleagues or clients. Or the manager whose job requires her to motivate and supervise staff, negotiate compromises, and influence others but she doesn’t like drawing attention to herself and feels awkward as a leader. In each case, their responsibilities do not match their calling. They are not using their strongest skills and the ones they most enjoy using.

There are ways to minimize burnout. One idea is to customize your job tasks (where possible) to match your motivations. Another way might be to work with your manager to create a working style that fits both your needs and the needs of your employer. This might help you feel more in control of how you do your job while meeting your job expectations and preventing burnout.

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