Guest Post By: Vinti Jain
Rapid changes in the marketing industry are demanding more out of marketers every year. Shifts in technology, trends, and online landscape, are making companies demand higher performance from their digital marketing teams. As a result, employees often feel stressed out due to an inability to meet the demands.
A recent survey polled 7,000 marketing and communications professionals, concluding that 83.3% of these professionals are burned out of their jobs. Along with that, The Harvard Business Review found that an estimated $190 billion is spent to take care of employees who have been suffering from health conditions due to burnout in their profession.
Before we dig deeper into the tips, it is important we understand the meaning of career burnout!
WHAT IS CAREER BURNOUT?
According to HelpGuide, the definition of burnout is: “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands”.
Career burnout exhausts your brain and your body, reduces productivity, drains energy, and leaves you feeling hopeless, cynical, and even resentful. A burnout will eventually make you unhappy and hate your work.
Here are a few causes of burnout:
- Inability to control everyday activities and requirements like work schedule, assignments, or workload
- Unclear job expectations
- Unfriendly or dysfunctional workplace environment
- Imbalance in work and personal life
- Boredom or chaos in the workplace
SYMPTOMS OF CAREER BURNOUT
Burnout is a gradual process, which can often feel like depression. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can creep up on you. However, if you actively find habits that reduce your stress and stay on the lookout for symptoms, you can prevent burnout.
Some of the symptoms that you should watch out for include:
PHYSICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time
- Frequent headaches or muscle pain
- Change in appetite or sleep habits
EMOTIONAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BURNOUT
- Sense of failure and self-doubt
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
- Loss of motivation
- Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
BEHAVIORAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BURNOUT
- Withdrawing from responsibilities
- Isolating yourself from others
- Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
Taking the necessary steps to prevent burnout will help preserve mental and physical health.
So here are some tips that can start working on to help you avoid burnout!
HOW TO AVOID MARKETING CAREER BURNOUT
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT BURNOUT EXISTS
While working in a competitive profession, it can feel like you’re heading towards burnout. Rather than denying or fearing it, the first step is to accept it’s a real thing.
Understanding burnout will allow you to start taking steps to avoid it and maintain a better work-life balance. Some ways to do so can be taking some time off, taking a regular vacation, and doing stress relief activities like meditation or yoga throughout the day.
2. SWITCH OUT SCREENTIME FOR RELAXING ACTIVITIES
Preventing physical stress is as important as preventing mental burnout. Physical stress can make your burnout more plausible. If your body is tired, sore, or drained, it will add to your mental drainage.
So, to work on your physical self, you can opt for activities like stretching, listening to music, or even putting a screen timer on your phone after work. Doing things to prevent back pain from sitting at your computer or eye strain from staring at a screen all day can help you relax.
3. KEEP YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE SEPARATE
Blurring the lines between personal and professional life is one of the biggest contributors to burnout. It can include overtime in the office or even bringing work home with you. For those of us that work at home, this can be a big challenge. Working too much might provide short-term rewards, but it will drain you in the long-term.
To battle this, you need a clear schedule. Try and make a to-do list for the day with time allocations for every task. Once you get home, turn off your notifications to enjoy the evening. Plan time for a fun activity like working out, spending time with your family, cooking, or reading a book into your schedule.
4. PRACTICE SELF-CARE
Self-care promotes physical, mental, and emotional health. Self-care is a must for avoiding burnout.
Healthy eating, mindful exercise, adequate sleep, spending time with family and friends are a few good examples of practicing self-care. Smartphone apps like Calm are a great way to take of yourself on the go.
5. MANAGE YOUR WORKLOAD BY LEARNING TO SAY NO
Digital marketers are often asked to carry out additional work since everything is happening in real-time. For example, you notice a client’s ads are not performing well and you find yourself doing research and problem solving and suddenly it’s 10 pm. Or, maybe a colleague asks you to help solve the problem right as your workday is coming to a close. Helping them might cause you to be late for your family dinner.
So, it is important that you learn how to say no. Of course, it’s important to help out your colleagues with their work but taking over a ton of work that you don’t have time for can cause more harm than good. It’s okay to turn down some work in a professional manner for your mental health.
Burnout is not often discussed in the workplace. However, taking time for yourself is just as important as spending time at work. To be a productive employee, it is essential to recognize the signs of burnout and try to prevent it by taking care of yourself. While you can take the above steps to prevent burnout in your job or daily life, you can also take steps to ensure that your work life is keeping you happy and healthy.