Quiz: Are You Burned Out on Your Job?

It's been a while since you've felt the exhilaration that comes with starting a new job. And you're wondering: "Has that professional spark been extinguished or is it flickering faintly, waiting to be reignited?" Take this quiz to help you identify if what you're feeling is a temporary heat wave or the telltale signs of total burnout.

1. Are you burned out or just exhausted?
"Take a real vacation to find out," says Rena Lewis, senior vice president for Lee Hecht Harrison, a job search, consulting and career management firm.
Burnout: If you dread returning to work, you may be burned out.
Temporary Heat Wave: If you come back rested and recharged, you just needed a well-deserved break.

2. Are you reacting to a passing moment or an entire movement?

Burnout: Your company recently underwent a major restructuring, doubling your responsibilities, and there's no end in sight.
Temporary Heat Wave: You're buried in work because it's your 'busy season.' But you do see light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Are the demands of your job weighing too heavily on you?
Burnout: Your supervisor is too demanding and you just can't keep your head above water. You know you'll never get her to change.
Temporary Heat Wave: You're too demanding on yourself and it's causing you undue stress, not only at work but most likely in other aspects of your life as well. Time to let a few things go, like the perfectly clean house or some volunteer responsibilities.

4. Do you find it difficult to focus on your job?
Burnout: You face your projects with total apathy and feel you have nothing left to give.
Temporary Heat Wave: Your lack of focus is rooted in the nebulous mess you call a workspace. Get organized and get rejuvenated!

5. Have you got the urge to find greener pastures?
Burnout: You're feeling more and more detached at work and catch yourself fantasizing about walking out the door to find that 'dream job' and leaving these 'little minds' behind.
Temporary Heat Wave: You're in a rut and ready to venture past the usual lunch crowd and meet some new peers.

So You're Burned Out…
If your situation is illustrated by more 'Burnout' descriptions, it's likely time to start down a new career path or follow a new opportunity to professional happiness. Get your resume together and begin your search.

Temper the Warming Effects
If you saw more of yourself in the 'Temporary Heat Wave' scenarios, then you might need a new focus and new challenges to recharge your professional energy. "You don't have to leave your employer to energize yourself," Lewis advises.

Lewis offers these suggestions for putting the spark back in your career:

  • "Look for a new position within your organization," she says. Network internally -- try to catch key people in the break room to get the scoop on a position or new project team being assembled.
  • Examine your current position to identify a new responsibility or element you could include that would refresh your focus.
  • Assess what aspects of the job you really like and do well and then concentrate on expanding those activities.
  • Make sure you get meaningful feedback from your supervisor. Without clear feedback, Lewis warns, you are apt to burn out faster because you will not have clear goals or accurate measurement.
  • Read relevant trade publications to stay up on the latest issues and trends. Find ways to incorporate these into your job.
  • Delegate or eliminate non-essential tasks. Sometimes we get mired down with minutia and lose sight of what we really need to be doing.
  • Investigate opportunities to transfer to a new city. Working in completely new surroundings with different peers could get your professional juices flowing again.

This article is courtesy of Careerbuilder.com

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