Leaving Your Job After Burnout: What Comes Next?

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Heightened rates of burnout were a national trend in 2021. In a 2022 report by the American Psychological Association, 3 in 5 employees cited negative impacts from cognitive weariness to emotional exhaustion. Many leave their jobs because of a chronic mismatch with their work. This can stem from variables in work overload, lack of control, insufficient rewards, socially toxic workplace community, absence of fairness, and values conflict.

These variables can help employees determine whether they are burned out or have reached a career dead end. Identifying the difference between burnout and a dead-end can be tricky, as their symptoms manifest similarly within an employee. However, burnouts are usually a signal that something needs to change, whereas a dead-end represents a stronger incompatibility with the career choices itself.

Leaving your job is a big change, but doing so can help you address any lack of control, unclear job expectations, or other factors. By planning ahead, this change will be what you need to make work more satisfying moving forward.

The Transition Period

Many shift workers may feel the need to rush into a new job after leaving the old one. This can be counterproductive because leaving your initial job from burnout means that there are factors you need to assess first. It also means that you finally have the time to address and figure out other tasks outside of work that you might have put off as well.

Take a week off at the minimum and use this time to run errands, reflect, and figure out a schedule.

You can also use this time to prepare for your next career path, perhaps research the company or industry you are interested in and update your skill set. Soft skills are in large demand and include characteristics that can be carried over to any position. They are also highly trainable, and you can sign up for virtual training sessions that provide tips and strategies for developing better practices. This can include active listening and empathizing with others, which are essential in industries like customer service and healthcare.

Seeing if your skill set matches the needs of a certain industry or organization will also allow you to ascertain whether you are the right fit. You can then shortlist the companies that you plan to apply to.

If we’ve rushed ahead here and you’re still working night shift but feeling stuck in a rut, this post will help. Also, if you’re not sure if change is required, this one will help you find some clarity.

The Job Hunt

When researching workplaces, it is important to look through information like their company values to ensure that the workplace culture values the health of employees and acknowledges burnout. Try maximizing sites like Glassdoor that include reviews of their previous workers. Otherwise, reach out to your network as well. Ask around about impressions of a particular company or any personal recommendations.

Meanwhile, update your resume, clean up your social media, and practice for the interview. Be sure that you’re ready to answer why you left your previous workplace. As we’ve discussed, the best thing to do is be upfront; you may be surprised by how many employers can empathize with burnout and thus appreciate honesty.

Try to explore what else is out there as well. Nurse Ali Brown switched to travel nursing in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. Travel nursing offered her a more flexible schedule and more opportunities for travel around the United States. It’s also provided her with many new opportunities and, in some cases, better pay. Alternatives like this can be an attractive option for nurses who are burnt out on a regular hospital load, and there are similar opportunities for other industries as well.

The New Job

There is no “perfect” job, so it’s important to take this time to research and look for an opportunity that’s the best fit for you. You must constantly strive for self-improvement to reflect on what burns you out and thereafter create preventative measures. Practice transparency with your manager or teammates from the start; they can also help you navigate your workload.

Give yourself time to settle into your new environment. ‘New job anxiety’ is common, and you may question whether you made the right decision. With patience, you will be able to overcome burnout and find a new sense of satisfaction with your job.

If you want to read more about Shift Work & Mental Health, click to read this one next.

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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