22. Job Disatisfaction and Burnout
You work that you may keep pace with the earth
and the soul of the earth. —Kahlil Gibran
This poet’s words come from an earlier time when people’s work more directly supported their survival—they grew their own food, and built their own homes with tools of their own fabrication. The principle applies no matter how you earn your living. There is an inherent value in doing work that keeps us all alive and well. In this sense there is no job that is ignoble.
But people tend to lose sight of the value of their work, getting so caught up in the details that they forget what they are doing or why they are doing it. Complaints are rife: too much pressure, too boring, the boss is impossible. Whatever the problem, the outcome is the same—job dissatisfaction leading to complete burnout and the feeling that you can’t face another day on the job.
Most people spend a third or more of their lives in the workplace. It is very important, then, that work fully supports our wellbeing—physically, emotionally, relationally, intellectually, and spiritually. Your body can put up with abuse in the short run, but over years those abuses will take their toll.
Steps to a Healthier Life-Work Relationship
Assessing the Health and Wellness of Your Workplace
Improving Workplace Wellness with Behavioral and Attitudinal Changes