Work takes up most of the adult time, the quality of life, and self-realization level depends on it. In our culture, it is customary, if not even honorable, to work hard. One of the real and probable attributes of professional activity can be professional deformation and burnout. Let us find out more.
What is professional deformation and burnout?
Professional deformation is a series of specific changes in an employee’s personality that arise as a result of the performance of an activity. Such changes are individual for each person but are typical for certain professions and specialties. Burnout is one of the types of occupational deformation.
The syndrome of professional burnout – a concept introduced in the 70s of the last century by the American psychiatrist Herbert Freudenberger, means a set of negative experiences associated with work, the team, and the entire organization, arises from the accumulation of negative emotions.
The danger of burnout is that it can lead to depression, depletion of physical, emotional, and intellectual resources, and illness.
Important indicators that a person burns out at work
- Prejudices and the formation of specific stereotypes – due to the accumulation of personal, professional experience, a person develops accusatory inclinations and psychological barriers. For example, when a teacher labels a child as an “unsuccessful” student because intuition and experience so suggest
- Changes in behavior – abuse of one’s powers or their exceeding, the use of prohibited methods and techniques in work, uncontrolled use of psychotropic substances
- Changes in the style of communication – first occur unconsciously at work, and then, with an increase in deformation, is transferred to all spheres of life; for example, a person develops a commanding tone of communication using many specific terms
- Narrowing of the range of interests – all interests and hobbies that a person had before fading into the background, and then completely disappear; workaholism develops into “professional fanaticism” when a person takes on more and more responsibilities and strives to be constantly in the working environment
- Changes in the emotional sphere – fatigue and apathy, loss of optimism, moral exhaustion, indifference to the result of work may appear
- Changes in the image of “I” – the deepest level of changes concerns the system of a person’s self-image: professional self-esteem becomes inadequately overestimated, condescension appears in the professional assessment of colleagues with a possible focus on the opinion of the boss, a painful reaction to criticism, a tough focus on personal experience, including the presumption own infallibility
To illustrate the burnout process, imagine you have a large transparent jar with a lid. Every day you throw in different marks; red marks of anger, blue marks of sadness, brown disgust, and the like. Over time, they accumulate, and at an unexpected, often most inopportune moment, the accumulated marks blow up the lid. Bang!
Professions in which burnout occurs most often
To understand which professions are more prone to burnout, it is worth recalling the classification of the famous psychologist Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Klimov by type of profession. He separates them into five categories: “man-nature”, “man-technology”, “man-man”, “man-sign system”, “man-artistic image”.
So, professionals who work in the “person-to-person” system are most prone to burnout. Such people’s responsibilities include constant communication and interaction, as a result of which they tend to accumulate negative emotions and fatigue.
What is the difference between those people who rarely or always burn out
According to a 2018 survey by the American Gallup Institute of Public Opinion, companies are facing a severe burnout crisis.
In the course of the study, 7,500 employees of different companies were studied, it turned out that 23% of them constantly feel burnout and 44% – from time to time. It turns out that about permanent employees experience professional burnout.
In this case, it is interesting to turn your attention to the remaining third of the workers. What helps them maintain emotional well-being? The answer lies in the ability to take care of yourself. When a person is aware of their strengths and weaknesses, they feel when it is worth taking a break or a long vacation to reboot to not take their condition to the extreme.
How to regain interest in your work
In resolving this issue, responsibility is shared between the company and the employee. On the one hand, people are one of the most important and valuable resources in any enterprise and firm, so the administration and management must take the following measures.
- Monitor compliance with a rational regime of work and rest
- To provide an opportunity for active recreation during breaks
- Transfer of an employee, with his consent, to another position or another team
- Regularly defining professional prospects together with the employee
- Conduct training and education on professional burnout and other relevant topics
- Keep a psychologist on staff who will individually advise employees and their families
How to protect yourself from professional deformation and burnout: simple steps
Also read: Laziness Is Omnipresent: How To Overcome It
- Build a distinction between work and personal time – family, leisure, and hobbies should be present in your schedule. Diversification helps maintain a balance between spheres of life and not to be left “at the bottom of the trough” in case of problems at work.
- Maintain a high level of physical activity – evening walks, gym and workouts, cycling, choose what you like best.
- Adjust expectations – try to assess the situation objectively, preventing frustration, and emotional devastation.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about the difficulties you face at work and ask for help from colleagues, family, or professionals.
Summing up, it should be noted that professional deformation and burnout are not a personality pathology but a possible consequence of work. And by working together, the company and the employee can prevent the development of such unwanted consequences.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Today Lifestyle