I'm a Career Coach — Here's How to Fight Burnout in a Job You're Trying to Leave

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
June 23, 2024 at 11:7AM UTC

Burnout is no stranger to the workplace. Even those who have been successful and relatively happy in their jobs for years are feeling it creep in. With the “great resignation” underway, some workers burnout has already pushed them to have one foot out the door. But if you’re in this situation, how do you stay professional while quietly planning your exit strategy?

This question came up in the Fairygodboss Community recently, and many professionals were eager to help. Here's how to stay productive and mentally healthy in your role, even as you turn your attention to other things and take on additional tasks in your day-to-day life (namely, the job search). 

1. Make a list of to-dos.

“I would start by making a full list of everything that comes to mind that you feel like you need to do,” wrote career coach Nicole Dupuis. “This should include updating your resume, drafting cover letters, joining networking groups, finding people you want to talk to, crafting social media messages you want to send, etc.  It will take up less space and energy in your mind if you write it all down.”

This can serve as a source of motivation for you, showing you how far you’ve come. It will also help you stay organized while you’re juggling projects and job searching simultaneously.

Dupuis also advised not asking too much of yourself. 

“You don't need to apply to 30 jobs and attend four networking groups day one. Just take one step each day.”

2. Focus on the here and now.

Rather than spending your time dreading tasks or worrying about when you’ll find a new job, try to focus on the present. Try to appreciate the responsibilities you do enjoy, instead of constantly wondering when you’ll be forced to do something you hate. This, too, will serve as a motivational tool, helping you stay focused.

3. Explore your talents.

“See this time as an opportunity to build your confidence and explore what you’re really good at and what your values are around work,” mindset coach Andrea Raggambi suggested. “Being very clear about who you are, what motivates you and what makes you feel inspired will help you identify opportunities that resonate with that.”

At the same time, Raggambi discouraged job seekers from dwelling too much on what’s to come. “Let go of the outcome because you have little control over the process,” she noted.

4. Confide in people you trust.

Friends, family and current and former colleagues can all serve as a support system during this hectic and difficult time. 

“I would find maybe three to five people you know and trust with whom you can talk about what you are going through,” wrote Dupuis. “They can provide encouragement, maybe by reviewing your resume or offering connections with new opportunities for you.”

5. See this as an opportunity for personal growth.

“This is an opportunity to become more self-aware,” Raggambi added. “Work through taking silence or rejections personally. Job hunting is an exercise in resilience. Stay positive and acknowledge the right thing will come from the energy you are putting out there. Be patient and kind to yourself!”

When you do find what you’re looking for, remember to continue to adhere to this advice as you’re planning for what’s next. You want to leave on good terms and avoid burning bridges as you move on professionally.

About the Career Expert:

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

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