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Professional burnout or career dead end? How to distinguish and cure

“You are probably wondering why I gathered you?”

So my boss said every Monday at a very ordinary meeting. “What stupidity,” I thought distantly, “we know that now you will get to the bottom of everyone in the room.” How I hate you, that guy on the left and the client for whom you have to make excuses. ”

In the evening, I scold myself for these thoughts. The leader should not say so if he wants to become … Stop. And who should I become in this company? There is no higher position, it is impossible to jump to another profession: I have too much specific knowledge that is not suitable to become a director of a company. And in general, at least someone outside the “native” organization.

Why work in marketing is life threatening. Types of customers
How to interpret my behavior?

On the one hand, it looks like a professional burnout, on the other – a career dead end. It is difficult to distinguish, because phenomena accompany the same symptoms. But it is necessary to distinguish: different people must “treat” them and according to different methods.

I turned to specialists: it is one thing to feel emotions, another is to define and practice. Psychologists Anastasia Zmievskaya from Volgograd and Nadezhda Sova from Yoshkar-Ola helped to understand professional burnout. About career deadlock for TexTerra said career consultant Galina Bobkova from Moscow.

In the article I will tell you about phenomena, the algorithm for exiting states, the rules of behavior in the family when a problem occurs. I will demonstrate by my example how burnout differs from a career dead end and what happens next. This article is useful for freelancers, employees and entrepreneurs.

Insidious career dead end – tired, but where to go?
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What is professional burnout
Scientists became interested in the phenomenon of professional burnout in the 19th century. At that time, the term had not yet appeared: there was knowledge of the symptoms of some production workers. They got tired, cursed with each other, acted without initiative, made mistakes in their activities. The problem became widespread, therefore engineers (I. Richter), doctors (S. M. Bogoslovsky, F. F. Erisman), psychologists (V. M. Bekhterev, G. Bradley) took up their decision. Each made a certain contribution to the understanding of the phenomenon, but the final explanation of “professional burnout” was given by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. In his opinion, this was a depletion from excessive expenditures of energy, strength and resources.

The comprehensive term has been narrowed down by American social psychologists Christina Maslach and Susan Jackson. They determined that professional burnout involves only three aspects:

emotional exhaustion – emptiness, powerlessness, cynicism, loss of hope and empathy, guilt, anxiety, feeling of helplessness, etc .;
depersonalization and dehumanization – groundhog day in which a person observes himself from the outside, rejection of general norms of behavior in favor of manifestation of personal qualities (aggression, sarcasm, cynicism, rudeness, hatred);
reduction of personal achievements – the loss of the meaning of life, impostor syndrome, unwillingness to invest in work.
In Russia, Maslach and Jackson consider the three-factor model of experiences to be the most accurate. HR managers use the MBI questionnaire they developed to quantify burnout. However, it does not take into account the physiological and intellectual characteristics of a person. Although in fact the employee in this state feels tired, drowsy, headaches, loses interest in sex life. Decreased attention and speed of decision making.

In other words, professional burnout is a call from the subconscious to consciousness to pay attention to true desires. The subconscious mind uses the body as an indicator and makes it experience a set of somatic and emotional reactions described by Maslach and Jackson.

The body spends all energy on resistance to somatic reactions, so there is no energy left for useful actions (for example, sports). But then there is fatigue and apathy, a desire to break the bond with reality
The body spends all energy on resistance to somatic reactions, so there is no energy left for useful actions (for example, sports). But then there is fatigue and apathy, a desire to break the bond with reality
Personal experience of professional burnout
I hated colleagues, clients, and especially the boss. She disliked when she saw her, didn’t want to do anything. She preferred to lock herself in her office, spend hours filling out reports, which she usually spent 20-30 minutes on.

Once the boss yelled at me. She needed to throw out anger – I was there. On the same day I went to the sick-list, and in the morning I arrived and laid a statement on the table. The boss asked me to stay in conversation: she explained that my condition was natural, I was tired and needed to rest. If after leaving the hospital I decide to leave, she will sign a statement.

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