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What Is Job Burnout?

Burnout Is Officially an "Occupational Phenomenon" — Here's What You Need to Know

Shot of a young businesswoman experiencing stress at work

If you've ever experienced a bad day at work, your performance was lackluster, you were focused on everything else but your job, and felt exhausted, you're not alone. In a 2018 study of 7,500 full-time employees, Gallup found that 23 percent of employees reported feeling burned out at work often or always. Additionally, 44 percent of employees said they sometimes felt burned out.

Workplace burnout isn't a figment of your imagination. The World Health Organization (WHO) has included burnout in its 11th Revision of International Classification of Diseases, calling it an "occupational phenomenon." According to WHO, "Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed." Burnout can be characterized as:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

While burnout can affect your mental and physical health, it's not classified as a medical condition. "Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life," WHO said.

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If you're feeling burned out, we recommend speaking with a professional that can help you devise a game plan to have you feeling your best.

Image Source: Getty / PeopleImages
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