What do I think about, what comes top of mind, when I read the headline, “4.7 million people left the workforce in November 2021?” An all-time record high of millions upon millions of people leaving the workforce. What do I think about, what pops into my head?
Now, you may not be one of the 4.7 million who’ve left the workforce, but you may be one of them who is considering it. And if you’re one of the many, like the corporate organizations that I work with, where the majority of top performers, especially women in leadership, one of the top reasons that they are leaving is because they are suffering from burnout.
I know first-hand what that feels like. You probably know my story, that I battled burnout in 2013. At the end of 13 months, I thought my only option was to quit my job if I were to actually survive, save myself, and save my family. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re drowning every single day and believe that your only option is to quit. You are who I think about.
If you are considering quitting your job because you have reached that ultimate point of burnout, I want to offer one question for you. One question for you to consider before you quit. Now, this is whether you are thinking about quitting your job to start your own business, or quitting your job to go to another organization. Regardless of where you’re thinking about going, I want you to answer this question: who or what is truly causing your burnout?
Who or what is truly causing your burnout, where is it stemming from? If burnout is the reason, if you have just absolutely had it, who or what is causing it? Now, for me on the surface level, I could have rattled an entire list of things that were causing my burnout. From needing to take care of my kids, to taking care of the house, to having to travel for work, too many projects, too many crazy deadlines, too many accounts that I was managing, not enough support. I mean, the list went on and on and on. And I’m sure you could create that same list.
It was me. I was the one who said, “Yes. Okay, let me do this. Let me take on this.” It was me who was accepting what was being thrown at me. Now, there’s a reason for it, and I’m sure you know what this is. You are a high performer. You are used to enduring pain; you’re used to tolerating challenge. And so you believe that this is part of success. But it’s not, it doesn’t have to be.
So before you go and quit that job, before you go start a business or take on some new adventure, really assess, is it you that’s contributing to the burnout? Because guess what – if it is you, then no matter where you go, your own business, another job, that is going to follow you. You’re going to find yourself in the same situation.
Even when you think, “Oh in my own business, I get to call the shots.” Well, guess what? You’re just going to fall into your same habits of over-working, not setting boundaries, or not say no. The same thing will happen. Even though you will be your own boss, you have to get ahold of yourself.
What are you doing or not doing to perpetuate this burnout? Because it will continue to follow you no matter where you go. So today, please ask yourself that question before you make any sort of decision!