June 12th, 2021
When I started a career planning business in 1990 less than 5% of our clients were what I now know to be "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 31 years? The percentage has gone to 40%...... and climbing.
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 it is clear that it has already gone way beyond just a nuisance and way beyond something we can all keep ignoring.
It is easy to blame big events like Brexit or Covid for burnout getting worse - but the truth is that burnout has been around and increasing for quite some time. During Covid - some people's burnout got better and for others it got worse - hinting that it is perhaps more about ones own personal cocktail of burnoutogenic factors than it is about specific events.
The social shift towards ever increasing levels of burnout can be traced to a mix of "do more with less" and "always on" culture. However even without these - some people would still get burnout. So what I always try to impart is that it is pointless trying to blame any particular cause of burnout because - it is rarely that simple.
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