CAD Manager's Q&A: Avoiding Burnout24 Apr, 2007 By: Robert Green
How can I avoid the burned-out feeling I get in my job some days? It’s as though I answer the same questions day after day and never seem to get anywhere.
Robert Green replies: I think everyone in any type of computer support job has this same feeling from time to time, so don’t get discouraged. This is a normal part of providing user support.
First, to stop feeling burned out, you need to shake things up a little. For instance, if you’re getting a lot of questions about a particular subject, do a lunch-and-learn session and try to answer the questions in a public forum. I find that I feel less burned out when I tackle a problem head-on and address its root cause instead of continuing to bear it.
Second, if your main cause of burnout is working too many hours, try to get one of your power users to help you reduce the load. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to work a lot of hours, I’d at least like be training someone to help me while I’m doing so. Also, never underestimate the value of taking a vacation day now and then to clear your head!
Finally, examine why you are in a repetitive rut in the first place and try to attack the problems with your management. If you can present your management team with a list of repetitive problems (that cause your burnout) and give them a plan to eliminate the problems, they’re much more likely to back you because they see clear benefits to doing so.
So address the causes of your burnout, try to eliminate them and take a periodic break to maintain your sanity. You’ll feel better, you’ll likely make some progress and your users and management team should benefit from a better work environment because of your efforts.