Dealing with Burnout

I recently told my mom that I wish that my parents prepared me for life with different values. All I heard growing up was “get an education, marry, have a family and have a great career.” What I wish I heard was: “get the credentials you need to live your life fully. It’s all about today.”

<Sigh>

At least I figured it out now. I am finding huge similarities between my divorces and leaving my job and company. And I think for women, when we make up our minds, it is too late to go back. My second ex thought that I would come back to my senses and realize how great he is and I am not serious about the divorce. It’s now happening at work. I made up my mind. I am totally burned out. I find corporate America to be soulless. The kool-aid tastes like sour milk. I am giving away the t-shirts, mugs and awards. They don’t have the same flavor and appeal anymore.

And an increasing number of studies show that top talent is leaving because of burnout and poor leadership. No shit! It’s amazing how hard we work — long days, nights, weekends, vacations. Sound familiar?

And we don’t stop ourselves to ask why.

But when we do stop and decide to deal with our demons, we realize that we are so exhausted from working all the time and putting up with an inane amount of bullshit from people we don’t respect and we need to do something about it.

We also jump right into the solution, which is what paralyzes most of us. The truth is we don’t have to have the answer. We need to work at finding it and it is hard since there is a lot of soul-searching that takes place.

I am ready for this scary and exciting journey …

PS: A great read: “Top talent leave an organization when they’re badly managed and the organization is confusing and uninspiring.”

This Isn’t the Company I Joined

“You are in love with this company. And the company you are in love with no longer exists.”

That statement from a colleague hit me hard, right between the eyes. I remembered being in love with my ex husband (from the early days) and when that bond started to break apart, I was in denial.  The company that I currently work at is definitely not the one I joined 12 years ago. It has transformed from having a start-up mentality into a large, “humanless” machine.  The company changed its relationship with me but in my heart, I didn’t want to see the changes. I wanted to believe that the endless hours and weekends I invested working were actually worthwhile. While in reality, the only payback I got was satisfaction from  my results.

The bottom line is if they had to make a spreadsheet decision and let me go tomorrow because they wanted to reduce their operating expenses, they would not think twice about it. They would make that decision for the good of the company. Despite all the posters and emails about being part of a family and the company culture, they would not hesitate to let me go if they had “no other choice.”

So, why is it that employees are more loyal to organizations than organizations are to their employees?

It’s Time to Break Up with my Job

I have a Google Alert on the term “employee engagement” and I am thinking about deleting it as it brings me really depressing stories about the sad state of corporate America. Yesterday, I posted to my LinkedIn account this article that talks about the problem with management and shows that:

Only 38% of employees believe that senior management is sincerely interested in employee wellbeing. Fewer than four in 10 agree that senior management communicates openly and honestly. A scant 40% believe that senior management communicates [the] reasons for business decisions, and just 44% of employees believe that senior management tries to be visible and accessible.

I often wonder why so many employees I know are more loyal to the companies they work for than the companies are to them. If the company had to make a “spreadsheet” decision tomorrow and “cut their fat” (i.e., people), management would not hesitate to do it to protect their bottom line. Look around you, it happens every single day.

After more than a decade with my company, I know in my heart that it’s time to move on. But it takes months of agonizing over this decision to weigh all those damn pros and cons until you can make a decision.

But even when you decide in your head that it is time, it’s still tough in your heart to make the move. And it reminded me of my divorce where I knew it would be better for me to be on my own than in a bad marriage.

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