Office Politics 101: Burning out and wanting out

Q: I’m burned out at the office after five years in the same clerical position. It’s getting so bad lately that I can hardly motivate myself to drive to work. I feel like quitting, but I don’t have any other prospects. Any thoughts for me?

A: Five years is a good run and most employers would not consider you to be erratic if you decided to take a new position either with your present company or elsewhere.

Quitting now, as I’m sure you would agree, would be an unwise move, given that you don’t have a job to go to. In addition, employers are generally more comfortable with employed applicants as opposed to those who are between positions.

You’re obviously bored with your current responsibilities and are no longer challenged with the duties. And, it probably won’t comfort you to know there are many other people working under similar conditions.

I’d like to recommend you become deliberate in your career planning at this time. Your restlessness should be the basis of a clear course of action which will lead you into the next stage of your working life.

Perhaps you slid into your current position and never saw it as a vocation, merely a way to pay the bills. Now, after five years, you realize you must pursue a new direction to achieve success and personal satisfaction.

Take an inventory of your skills and interests. What is your “dream job” and how easily could you turn it into reality? Are their abilities you have developed in your current position that could easily transfer to a more interesting situation?

Would further education — possibly re-training — open up greater opportunities? Do you need to acquire some practical skills such as the mastery of a relevant computer program, for instance?

You may wish to make an appointment to speak with someone in your human-resources department — if you have one — and solicit his or her advice. Avoid whining, listen attentively and be prepared to receive some helpful counsel.

As well, you could speak informally to co-workers regarding your circumstances. A colleague may have some ideas to help you gain perspective and even improve your opportunities for promotion.

Being burned out at work can be debilitating and may even impact other aspects of your life such as your family. Get started immediately on a strategy to improve your career options through deliberate reflection, research, consultation and perhaps re-training.

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life to simongibson@shaw.ca

Just Posted

Ron Flockhart and sister, LaVerne—who’s holding her grandson, Conner—at the Sicamous and District Recreation Centre for the unveiling of the sign honouring Rob Flockhart on June 6, 2021. (Contributed)
New sign honours the late Rob Flockhart at Sicamous and District Recreation Centre

The sign was unveiled on June 6 to a small group of Flockhart’s family members

Effective Aug. 1, 2021, Donna Kriger will be the superintendent of schools for School District 83 North Okanagan-Shuswap. (Photo contributed)
North Okanagan-Shuswap School District hires new superintendent

Candidate from Saskatchewan to hop to the helm on Aug. 1, 2021

Erin Jackson, the city’s director of corporate services, was appointed acting chief administrative officer for the City of Salmon Arm on June 15, 2021. (Photo contributed)
City of Salmon Arm appoints acting chief administrative officer

Heads of two city department to temporarily fill empty CAO position

The old Dirty Dirt Farm Co-op sign now hangs in the forest behind one of the cabins. (Jim Cooperman photo)
Column: The saga of the Dirty Dirt Farm Co-op

Shuswap Passion by Jim Cooperman

Brook Kosick competes in the barrel racing event at a BC High School Rodeo Association rodeo in Quesnel, which was held from June 11-13, 2021. (Cassidy Dankochik - Black Press)
VIDEO: 14-year-old Salmon Arm rodeo athlete Brook Kosick competes at provincial level

Quesnel rodeo on June 11-13 was first of season for Kosick, who said it meant everything to be back

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A heart of ribbons is seen on the fence of Highroad Academy along Chilliwack Central Road on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Orange Heart Memorial campaign launches in Vernon on National Indigenous Peoples Day

North Okanagan Friendship Center raising funds for bench, mural memorializing 215 discovered in Kamloops

Most Read