By Daryl D. Green
With the economic downturns in America, fierce competition from abroad, and the fast pace of life, I find it difficult to be content with someone else entrusted with my career aspirations and ultimate future. What about you? I have heard too many people complaint about their work issues. Some bosses don’t value the importance of their employees. These same managers are great at developing goals and distributing tasks but are unsuccessful at inspiring their employees. Should there be any surprise when outstanding employees leave a bad situation? Modern day work can be an uninspiring endeavor if a person doesn’t know the right people or have the right connections. However, rarely is a person willing to do something different. Some folks become unhappy in their lives because they work in awful conditions. Sadly, most people don’t know how to get out of this vicious cycle of hopelessness. This column examines how to overcome working in a dead-end job.
The hectic environment of career life is having a dramatic impact on employees. The reality is that most workers are emotionally drained. According to a CareerBuilder.com survey, one-half of workers reported that they feel a great deal of stress on the job. In fact, this hectic environment is destroying family life. Forty-four percent of working moms admitted being preoccupied with work while at home; thirty-six of working dads reported they bring work home at least once a week. Unfortunately, some people even believe that chasing these financial goals will produce happiness. It doesn’t! However, several trends suggest that some individuals may be shifting their perspective. According to a Yankelovich Monitor study in 1997, only 25% of adults said “a lot of money” signified success and accomplishment (down from 35% from previous years). If these trends of a hectic work life do not change, society will be headed for a tragic ending.
| The Burnout Factors
Dealing with burnout has become America’s newest pastime. Burnout is defined as a mental condition that involves long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in a work task or occupation. Christian Maslach and Michael Leiter, authors of The Truth about Burn-out, describe burnout as the disconnection between what people are and what they have to do. Therefore, burnout involves the erosion of values, dignity, and the human spirit. In fact, many people are succeeding in the corporate environment while failing miserably at their personal relationships. Other workers are often underutilized and wasted in organizations. Consequently, they are never able to showcase their abilities and skills. Therefore, they are caught in a corporate prison where there is no escape. These workers exist in hopelessness and on a fast track toward being burnt out. The following personal strategies should be considered to avoid burnout: (a) understand your personal needs as it relates to body, mind, and spirit, (b) establish a purpose for living and a reason for getting up in the morning, (c) develop a personal support network, (d) set aside time for meditation, and (e) volunteer to participate in a social cause where you can showcase your abilities. In most cases, employees can prevent burnout associated with a dead-end job.
Americans continue to lose jobs at an alarming rate. The housing market continues to crumble, and employee wages have flat-lined. Individuals face severs challenges, but they can prevent burnout by implementing personal strategies. Many employers would argue that an individual should be happy if they have a job. In most cases, the US workforce has complied with this corporate logic. However, I would declare that they should not have to lose heart. British essayist Thomas Carlyle once stated, “Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.” Individuals need to take an active part in developing strategies that promote a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Thus, they can transform themselves from being victims in a dead-end job to champions of their own destiny.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green
About Dr. Daryl Green:Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. Formore information, you can go to www.nuleadership.com or www.darylgreen.org.