Burn-out – not me!?!

Many people still find it very difficult to admit that they have burn-out! But why is that the case?

Unfortunately, burn-out is still a taboo topic that people don’t talk about, and they certainly don’t have it. And especially not if you want to be seen as capable and standing in life!

 So, who does it really affect?

According to the study “Women in the Workplace” by McKinsey & Co. and LeanIN.org in the USA, in 2021 42% of women stated that they always or almost always feel burned out at work. For men, it’s 35%, according to this study. The last year of pandemic time has seen these numbers increase by 10% for women and 7%.

Statista looked at the issue in the US from a generational perspective. Again, there is an average increase of 9.5% in the last year. While the GenX has grown the most with 14%, in GenZ, 58% of respondents confirm feeling burned out in the last year, among Millenials it is 59%, within GenX it is 54% and among Baby Boomers it is 31%.

In a study from 2017, Statista asks how the burn-out risk can be differentiated by position in Germany.  The number one with over 66% are the white-collar workers, who rate their risk as high. It also still is in double digits for team leaders (13%). These are followed by department managers with 7% and division managers with 5%.

So, it affects a lot more people than you probably thought. This means that it can happen to anyone.

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Who is affected by burnout?

There are 3 groups of people in particular who suffer from burnout.  All three groups have in common that they are highly self-motivated and want to achieve a lot on their own initiative. Only the motives are different.

Group 1: Perfectionists

In this group we find people who are very ambitious and committed to the tasks assigned to them and want to get them right down to the last dot on i. If they do not achieve this, they have failed in their own eyes. Unfortunately, in today’s working world, there is no time for exactly that. According to Mind Matters Ltd. in Europe, 75% of the people say they usually work at a fast pace or with tight deadlines. 10% say they rarely if ever have enough time to finish the task.

Group 2: Performance oriented people

This group consists of very determined, dynamic people. They like to expend themselves and often enjoy doing so. However, if there is a lack of recognition from outside or if there are failures, this situation can become very stressful. This group also needs a certain amount of freedom to pursue their goals and requires a high degree of self-responsibility. Looking further into Mind Matters Ltd. 42% state that their work pace depends on KPIs and 35% that it is set by their manager.

Group 3: Selfless people

This group approaches things with a lot of idealism. They are often selfless and responsible. Above all, they care about the well-being of others. We find them mostly in social professions. They sacrifice themselves for others and probably belong to the 68% whose work rate is dictated by their clients (Mind Matters Ltd.).

These groups certainly do not describe all unambiguously and there are certainly also affected and endangered who have a mixture of the described characteristics but should also only give an impression.

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Burn-out – I do?

Finally, it only remains for me to state that burn-out is neither a personal failure or weakness nor low resilience. Unfortunately, these stigmas are still often the reason why those affected do not admit that they are afflicted. But actually, the name already says it, only those who burn at all can also burn out.

If you are suspecting that you will be affected, here is some good news: 90% of those affected are able to work again. The duration to overcome burnout, however, often depends on how early the burn-out was recognized and how quickly you got help.

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