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You walk into work in the morning, and the first thing you do is not read up on the latest overnight news from asian stock markets, but you hold your head in your hands and you come to the realization that every single day has been worse than the day before. It's not that you're having a bad day, or a bad week even, you genuinely don't want to take on any more of this work. Could this mean that you are burnt out?

Credit to Peter Gibbons for the office space reference above. This is how many people feel everyday and it is a sure sign that you should take some time away from work. Burnout is a mental state, and becomes a self fullfilling prophecy. If you consistently think you are overwhelmed with work and your energy is depleted, you will consistently feel that way and your performance will reflect that, which in turn will reinforce your thoughts about being being burnt out.

Here are few questions to ask yourself to find out if you're burned out:

  • Are you bored at work?
  • Are you often irrirtable?
  • Do you feel under appreciated?
  • Do you have headaches or migraines often?

If you answered yes to any of the above, either you are a middle aged woman or you're burned out.

I'm not trying to knock people who say they are burned out, I just don't think it's as a big of a deal as most people make it seem. If you answered yes to any of the above, then maybe consider looking for a new job or take some time off. If you don't like you're current situation, there is always something you can do. Nothing is as a big of a deal as it seems, so stop crying

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Comments (19)

  • BTbanker's picture

    "If you answered yes to any of the above, either you are a middle aged woman or you're burned out."

    hilarious. +1

  • asiamoney's picture

    Good advice, people take things too seriously sometimes.

  • Mr.Saxman's picture

    I am a freshman in college and I have prob worked too hard for the first 2 months, now for the past 3 weeks I feel really burnt out as in starting to procrastinate and not as effecient with my work as I used to do it.

    I have been taking more time off to hang out and doing sports but everytime I come back, I feel the same. Has anyone experienced this? I really need to get my shit together for the finals and if anyone has been through this in college, please shed some light.

  • fearless's picture

    Freshmen in college don't get burnt out, they get ignorant. Getting burnt out is when you do a work for over 2 years, every week 100 hours, and suddenly you just don't give a crap about your job. That's getting burned out.

    When you get your 2.0 GPA after your first semester, and you imagine all of the doors of opportunity that immediately shut on you in your sophomore summer internships, which will snowball into you not getting a summer analyst program in your junior year, you'll get your shit together.

    But back to the main topic: I feel like getting burned out is also part of the fact that you become jealous and resentful of the time you can be spending elsewhere, having kids, going rock climbing, joining a Metallica cover band, and etc.

  • In reply to Mr.Saxman
    APAE's picture

    Mr.Saxman:
    I am a freshman in college and I have prob worked too hard for the first 2 months, now for the past 3 weeks I feel really burnt out as in starting to procrastinate and not as effecient with my work as I used to do it.

    I have been taking more time off to hang out and doing sports but everytime I come back, I feel the same. Has anyone experienced this? I really need to get my shit together for the finals and if anyone has been through this in college, please shed some light.

    Find a new piece of strange and enjoy the fact that you're still in college and your biggest concern is probably figuring out how to simultaneously balance four classes, parties, and a bevy of new girls every weekend.

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

    Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

  • In The Flesh's picture

    It's true that negativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you have to just leave that all outside when you step in the door. It helps if you're surrounded by others who do the same.

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • In reply to Callus
    olafenizer's picture

    Callus:
    Nothing a couple sessions with expensive hookers couldn't fix.

    What if I can only afford cheap hookers? Would that not fix the problem?
  • In reply to Callus
    honeyoak87's picture

    Callus:
    Nothing a couple sessions with expensive hookers couldn't fix.

    I could imagine hookers making it worse. It is hard to work with people who enjoy their job when you hate your own...

    Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

  • Mr.Saxman's picture

    Lol while I do realize freshman is nothing compared to ibd and it is wrong to mention being "burnt out" to ppl in finance, I don't understand all the shit thrown at me since all I am asking is for advice to deal with burning out from ppl that have more experience with it. Thanks for the advice though APAE

  • In reply to APAE
    rogersterling59's picture

    APAE:
    Mr.Saxman:
    I am a freshman in college and I have prob worked too hard for the first 2 months, now for the past 3 weeks I feel really burnt out as in starting to procrastinate and not as effecient with my work as I used to do it.

    I have been taking more time off to hang out and doing sports but everytime I come back, I feel the same. Has anyone experienced this? I really need to get my shit together for the finals and if anyone has been through this in college, please shed some light.

    Find a new piece of strange and enjoy the fact that you're still in college and your biggest concern is probably figuring out how to simultaneously balance four classes, parties, and a bevy of new girls every weekend.

    This. After 5 months (ok, 3; training was more of a party than anything) of being in the real world, I laugh when I look back to the times when I got stressed out in college over a test or something. No matter how much bullshit "stress" you thought you were under in college, you always had the option of saying fuck it, turning off the alarm, and simply taking the day (or week) off from school. Those days are long gone...

    I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  • In reply to Mr.Saxman
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    Mr.Saxman:
    I am a freshman in college and I have prob worked too hard for the first 2 months, now for the past 3 weeks I feel really burnt out as in starting to procrastinate and not as effecient with my work as I used to do it.

    I have been taking more time off to hang out and doing sports but everytime I come back, I feel the same. Has anyone experienced this? I really need to get my shit together for the finals and if anyone has been through this in college, please shed some light.


    My advice: man the fuck up.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • Mr.Saxman's picture

    Alright thanks guys, I do realize now that I did sound like a pussy with my post and pretty much deserved all the money shit thrown at me since ibankers have to endure so much more. I'll think twice before I post anything next time

  • In reply to rogersterling59
    EURCHF parity's picture

    rogersterling59:
    This. After 5 months (ok, 3; training was more of a party than anything) of being in the real world, I laugh when I look back to the times when I got stressed out in college over a test or something. No matter how much bullshit "stress" you thought you were under in college, you always had the option of saying fuck it, turning off the alarm, and simply taking the day (or week) off from school. Those days are long gone...

    Depends on the college. Doing a scientific subject at Oxbridge missing half a day meant missing enough to not understand the next 3 weeks' stuff, very hard to catch up. The trade off was always sleep vs study. If you slept too little you'd be less efficient and again fall behind. I hit my balance with study til 1.30am, wake up at 7am and study another hour before lectures/labs. This was not brainless work like in IBD/consulting, but the kind of brain screwing maths that forces you to be focused. If you missed out on things you'd get destroyed by your supervisor in a particularly clever and painful manner (my DoS trained with the Royal Marines as a reservist and I think he poached some of their methods). Everybody fell ill at the end of term due to the change in lifestyle (relaxation). The worst part was not knowing how you'd perform, and not knowing your future, and having no money for 4 years.

    So... I personally found the working world a bit easier. People ask a lot less of you, even if in more hours. Your bank account is padded, so you don't have to waste time cooking or ironing your own clothes. And you can go to expensive restaurants without feeling like undesired vermin for ordering water. On the other hand you sleep even less, and 3h nights day after day becomes very painful on your body.

    Looking back I'd have worked 2x harder and gotten a higher grade. It follows you for life, not just because of the grade itself but because what you do straight after is so dependent on it, and will dictate your later options. If anything, OP should be MORE stressed than he is about grades.*

    *I said this to the freshmen in my college (Cambridge and Oxford are split in circa 30 colleges which are a bit like houses in Harry Potter) who had just arrived, fresh from my 1 year experience doing what they were about to. They later told me I scared the living lights out of them. None of them talked to me for 3 months. Our year finished with 10% of firsts (about statistical average). Theirs, 50%. Stress: it works!

  • Culcet's picture

    I've found that being "burned out" is the result of working too hard instead of working smart.

    Working hard= spending the most amount of time working/studying as possible, at the expense of everything else: sex, family relations, hobbies, general happiness and sanity- (honestly if you're lacking these even getting out of bed will be a chore).

    Working smart= working as hard as you can while preserving all of the aforementioned "necessities"

    A teacher of mine once told me to "treat your life as work". In other words, you really need to hold yourself accountable and responsible for having a good group of friends, getting laid on a regular basis, health relationships with your family, and general interests beyond just "getting ahead". Making good money and getting good grades can only provide so much.

  • karypto's picture

    Burning out is bad, especially once you realize how easy women have it. Hear me out. They just fuck and fuck, and then BOOM they expect you to treat them like royalty. While we men are slaving out 20s away, women fuck their 20s away. They have fun. Fuck, women have fun. I want to have fun. It's such a dilemma, because any minute someone can take your place. Argh... Shit might make me teach English in Asia real fast.

  • In reply to karypto
    Culcet's picture

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  • RepThyBananas's picture

    Rarely will any of my posts have enough forethought/structure to be taken seriously.