In 2021, the United States workforce experienced the Great Resignation, where millions of employees walked away from their jobs. In addition, a survey by Pew Research indicates that most employees cited disrespect at the workplace, overworking, low pay, and minimal opportunities for career advancements.

All these factors above can lead to burnout, causing you to develop negative feelings towards your job. However, not many people realize that they’re experiencing burnout at work. This article explores the causes of burnout at work and how to overcome these negative feelings.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a disorder resulting from chronic workplace stress, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO further indicates that the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) lists burnout as an occupational phenomenon. Symptoms of burnout at work include a negative outlook toward your job, reduced productivity, exhaustion, procrastination, and feeling trapped in your job.

Ways to Overcome Burnout at the Workplace

Your workplace should be where you receive fulfillment, love what you do, and stay motivated to produce great results. When you realize you have lost your footing, there are many ways to bounce back and overcome burnout at work. Here are five effective solutions.

1. Acknowledge What You’re Feeling

The first and most significant step is to accept that you are burnt out. You might not identify burnout immediately, but when you start developing negative feelings towards your job and co-workers, fatigue, excessive stress, or insomnia, you may want to dig deeper. In fact, acknowledging how you’re feeling can help you identify your burnout triggers.

2. Ask for Help

While experiencing burnout, you must build a support network. Usually, burnout causes self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression, which causes you to withdraw or make drastic changes. Asking for help allows you to talk to people about how you’re feeling, and you will get people to validate your feelings and help you get back to yourself.

Your support network includes your boss, co-workers, family members, or friends. However, you can also reach out to a counselor or join a support group. You should surround yourself with positive people who want the best for you.

3. Take a Break

Sometimes, it takes walking away from the situation to revive your motivation. Before you write your resignation notice, apply for leave and take time off work to relax your mind. Go on vacation, hang out with family and friends, or take care of your household. Taking adequate time off might be exactly what you need to rejuvenate.

Alternatively, if you have maximized your leave days, you can take breaks during the work day. For example, you can eat your lunch in a different location, go for a walk during your break, or step away from your desk for a few minutes.

4. Do Something Exciting

Believe it or not, monotony can also lead to burnout, and sticking to the same routine every day will cause you to lose interest or develop exhaustion. Find ways to incorporate exciting activities into your life to keep you motivated. You can explore a new hobby, enroll in a coding bootcamp, learn a new language, or join the gym.

In fact, many organizations are currently embracing data science and other tech advancements. You can take advantage of these changes to learn new tech techniques and programming languages. In addition, accessing the hundreds of free coding courses online to learn everything tech-related can reignite your passion.

5. Remember, You Can Say No

Sometimes, you may feel obligated to say yes to avoid conflict or being labeled rude. However, saying yes to your boss and co-workers when you don’t want to can cause burnout. Instead, you should consistently prioritize your mental space and respectfully decline duties beyond your ability.

Saying no is an important skill you can develop over time. Take time to build confidence and identify your priorities to help you make informed decisions. Remember, you can always make exceptions when necessary, but saying yes shouldn’t be mandatory.


Overall, burnout at work can affect your performance and cause you to make snap decisions, such as resigning from your role. You may feel overwhelmed, but implement the steps above before you make any drastic changes. It might take a while to overcome burnout, but with commitment and the need for change, you can bounce back from these negative feelings.

About Contributor Jemma Mercer

Jemma-MercerJemma Mercer is Career Karma’s career advice expert. She is an experienced writer and editor who has written, edited, and fact-checked hundreds of articles aimed at helping applicants curate strong resumes, ace job interviews, and navigate the complex world of career development. Since graduating from Willamette University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, she has gained professional experience in a range of fields, including healthcare, university admissions, and independent publishing.

Jemma joined Career Karma in 2021 and is passionate about creating accurate and informative content that helps job seekers to find career opportunities where they can thrive. Outside of work, she greatly enjoys creative writing, painting, and trips to the bookstore.

About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu helps aspiring professionals relaunch their careers to do work that matters. As a keynote speaker, career & personal branding consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, his passion is helping people gain the clarity, confidence, and courage to pursue truly meaningful careers. Having gone through three major career changes himself, he now shares insights from building & relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals and business owners to build & relaunch their personal brands.

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