Last week, we spent some time talking about changing jobs and the impact on job satisfaction, vitality, and work-life balance. There is another wellness outcome that is impacted when you change jobs – burnout. Research shows that burnout and job change go hand in hand. So, what can you do?
Burnout Caused By Job Change
Burnout has been a hot topic over the last few years. It’s categorized by feelings of exhaustion, being disconnected from the job, and feeling ineffective at work. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced burnout at some point in our careers. Many have experienced it recently with all of the added stress and pressures of the pandemic.
While there are a lot of causes of burnout, one study found that changing jobs is one of them! For the first two years after a job change, burnout increases before stabilizing. And, it doesn’t matter if the job change is internal or external – both types of job change lead to burnout.
What Companies Can Do
Leaders of organizations need to be aware of this finding. Companies are always bringing in new people or promoting or moving current folks to other roles. Thus, there are always employees within an organization that is dealing with this job change-related burnout.
So, how can leaders help? First, managers need to be appropriately trained on how to onboard new team members. Part of that training needs to include a discussion on burnout and how to try to prevent it. Second, managers need to also understand how to keep workloads appropriate for new team members. They need to learn how to set the right expectations for the first two years of the employee’s tenure in the role. Finally, senior leaders should model good practices in building balance and wellness for others to follow. Newer employees often struggle with knowing what boundaries are ok to set. Thus, the example is crucially important.
What You Can Do
What about at the individual level? Well, burnout isn’t easy to solve or fix on your own. The work environment is a major driver of your experience of burnout. However, understanding it is the norm to experience more burnout after a job change can be helpful. You can choose to not change roles if you are in a period of your life that adding more stress or burnout is not ideal. Or, you will know not to panic if you are feeling more burnout after the change than before. Sometimes, just having the right expectation can help you plan properly to prevent it. Finally, it could be helpful to start having conversations with your new leader around burnout. What are their expectations of you? What type of boundaries do you need to set? Make these conversations normal in the beginning of your leader/employee relationship to help you navigate any challenges in the future!