Burnout: Why You May Have It Being Professional Is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
After I got my MBA in 1996 and started working as a business consultant for Arthur Andersen, I adopted the prevailing wisdom that I needed to be strictly professional at work, meaning compartmentalizing my personal life and just focusing on work topics.
Sounds good, right?
I shared little to nothing about my personal world, my personal opinions, what mattered to me with both my peers and clients.
I focused on working hard to please my boss and my clients, working 60-hour weeks, traveling to client locations. I made sure I completed the projects on time and as perfectly as possible.
The reverse wasn’t true. I would get to know my peers and clients personally, what they liked, their professional and personal struggles, providing counsel to support them.
But it was a one-sided relationship. When Susan and I started working together with one of my previous clients, she was shocked when the CFO, who I’d worked closely with for four years, didn’t know anything about me and my life – my hobbies, my partner, even where I lived.
I took “being professional” a bit too far.
I was a consultant (an object), not a person, thinking that was the best for them and for me. I felt vulnerable sharing what I liked or my personal opinions. I was afraid they’d judge, attack or reject me.
So I never showed up as, well, me. I didn’t share what I did on the weekends, my hobbies, what I was passionate about, or even who I was with. I was a master at dodging the question, changing the subject, or somehow getting out of the focus being on me.
So what’s the problem?
This strategy isn’t sustainable.
I started to get very exhausted, stressed, lonely, and felt empty and unfulfilled. I didn’t understand why.
I wasn’t being me, my authentic self at work. I thought the job was the problem, rather than how I was showing up.
I coach executives, lawyers, and doctors who come to me thinking, “I have to quit my job.”
When I dig deeper, it turns out they’re stressed, unfulfilled, and feeling burned out, often because they’re not bringing themselves to work.
They’re working so hard for their boss, clients, and the sake of building the business, but they don’t include themselves. They aren’t sharing their preferences, their opinions, their personal world. They are treating themselves like a cog in a wheel.
When you don’t include yourself, it starts to drain your tank.
When you compartmentalize yourself, it seems neat and tidy, but it is also a big tax on the system.
We believe that when you bring more of you to everything you do – you will thrive and your company team or business will as well!!
Don’t quit your job before you actually bring full yourself to it!
PS: Want to learn how to bring more of your unique exquisite mojo to work? Check out Find Your Mojo in Montana. Our February event is full, and we have just 4 spots left in our May Find Your Mojo in Montana event!
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke
Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict
CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.
They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.
Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.