As a Compensation Cafe reader, you must be able to see the humor in our crazy area of business. It's part of the reason for Compensation Cafe. We want to encourage you to be a bit cheeky about your take on work, and thus be more happy than most about the interactions, decisions, amazing insights, annoying issues and repeat repeat repeat business that fill up your days.
"Here's to you!" is playing in the background at Compensation Cafe. Hopefully you read our stuff because you can hear that beat, if not the words, each time you click over to us.
That's why I am hoping that you'll give yourself a gift this year. Before the New Year's hoopla, take a walk -- in nature if possible -- and size yourself up. Be truthful about how tired you really are and how crabby. Try to understand how much your fatigue is affecting your work and relationships in the office and at home.
As someone who really did burn out, I'm suggesting that you skip the experience. To help you avoid it, I want you to notice how closely it looms.
Why bring it up at this time of year? First of all, many of us are taking stock now that what's going to be done this year is finally finishing up. You may be noticing that you have space in your head for something more than, "Gotta get that done."
I know I have, so I was able to notice the email this week that brought an article from the Harvard Business Review, "Burnout at Work Isn't Just About Exhaustion. It's Also About Loneliness." As they put it in a nutshell, "This loneliness is not a result of social isolation, as you might think, but rather is due to the emotional exhaustion of workplace burnout."
Maybe it's because I've lived near San Francisco for a while, but I'm much more aware of, "what I can make of my experience in the world if I'm willing to work at it," than I was when I started working. I want you to feel more of that freedom, too, and do your best to avoid the loneliness and exhaustion that the research indicates almost half of all workers feel. (That's a 32% increase from two decades ago.)
Sure, read the HBR article, but more importantly decide that you can and will do more to avoid over working. Read up on the self help alternatives, which are more and more based on available research rather than well-intentioned guesses. (That means that they can give you results.) And instead of the hurry, hurry, hurry, in your brain, listen more closely for the "Here's to you!" chorus.
PS Pretty sure you're fried? Take a look at HBR's "To Recover from Burnout, Regain Your Sense of Control." It's great stuff.
Have a great holiday break!
Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café. Her firm, re:Think Consulting, provides market pay information and designs base salary structures, incentive plans, career paths and their implementation plans. Earlier, she was a Principal at Willis Towers Watson. Margaret is a Board member of the Bay Area Compensation Association (BACA). She coauthored the popular eBook, Everything You Do (in Compensation) Is Communications, a toolkit that all practitioners can find at https://gumroad.com/l/everythingiscommunication.