There is a very sad thing about burnout.
It is entirely preventable.
So why do so many people suffer from it?
And why do organisations and individuals put up with it?
This blog entry asks you only to ponder these questions and also this one.....
If you had a huge wart on your nose that was entirely preventable or curable - would you not rush to get it sorted and take whatever steps required to deal with it?
I'd guess you would.
I rest my case.
When I started a career planning business in 1990 less than 5% of our clients were what I now know were "burnout" sufferers ( the term burnout wasn't in common usage back then although it was first coined by Freudenberger in 1974).
What happened over the intervening 28 years? The percentage has gone to 40%...... and climbing.
Surely it is just doctors I hear you say. No….the percentage of people in work with burnout is now in almost unbelievable figures and is across professions and industries. With similar reports coming from around the world is clear that it has already gone way beyond just the medical profession ( easy to blame the NHS), way beyond the UK ( easy to blame Brexit) and similarly - way beyond something we can all keep ignoring.
So what to do about it?
The good news is that there are some simple solutions to this very complex, pervading and apparently intractable problem. The bad news is - despite that, both individuals and organisations have a propensity to deny and avoid the burnout elephant in the room. It is as if everyone knows burnout exists - journalists dine out on it, researchers make careers on it - but few are entirely clear what the true extent (and it is huge!) of the economic damage from burnout amounts to, nor the difference between it and a "bit of stress requiring just a few days sick leave". As a result burnout is lurking, at a workplace near you, to an extent .....under the radar.
Part of the problem is that people fear admitting it. I can understand this fear. When one doesn't know the full information it is very easy to find the topic of burnout extremely intimidating with both individuals and employers terrified of "taking the lid off Pandora's box” and suffering repercussions as a result.
This is what Burnout Geese is all about - demystifying burnout. Yes it is a big problem and a growing one - but there are things each and every one of us can do to turn burnout around - for ourselves, our colleagues and our society.