We get it. Teaching is tough. You thought it was your life’s calling, and you put everything into it. You loved the kids. You even loved the parents. You still do! But.
Burnout: what is it and how to recognize it
“Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress,” say the staff at the Mayo Clinic. “A state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” 1
Symptoms can result in physical ailments, such as fatigue, loss of energy, changed sleep habits, headaches, digestive issues, the abuse of food and alcohol, and other complaints. Or, you may be experiencing emotional issues, such as lack of satisfaction from your job or achievements, the inability to motivate yourself, irritability with yourself, your co-workers, or your students, or the inability to concentrate, or to be creative.
You don’t need to be suffering from all of those symptoms to be suffering from job burnout. If you are experiencing any of them on a regular basis, then it may be time to step back and have a little “time-out” with yourself.
What is it that is keeping you up at night? Where do your thoughts go? You may be one of the people that resort to over-sleeping to escape. Why can’t you keep your eyes open?
Find or make a safe space where you won’t be disturbed for a good block of time. You’ll need some paper and a writing utensil. Take a moment to quiet your mind and ground yourself. Then, look at these questions. Don’t think about them (yet). Just start writing. Write anything. Just write. Don’t edit. Make a mess. Just keep writing. When your pen stops, and there’s nothing left to say, move on to the next question. Don’t review what you’ve already written. Just move on.
- Why did you train to be a teacher in the first place?
- What are the things you like most about being a teacher?
- What are the things you dislike most about your career?
- What would you change about your career if you could?
- Are there positive steps you can take to making those changes?
- Are any of the negative aspects of your job out of your control?
- Is this the way you want to spend the rest of your life?
This process might take more than one session. You can return to it at any time. Once you’ve finished the exercise, it’s time to go back and review. Do you see any trends? Are there areas where you do have control, but you’re not exercising it?
Most importantly, how do you feel? Sit with that. Does that feeling align with your core values? And is teaching still the career for you?
What’s in your toolbox?
Most of your skills and core values as an educator are transferrable to other careers. Take a look at this list of qualities and characteristics:
- Relationship building / networking
- Strong work ethic / target-driven
- Organizational skills / process-driven
- Stress management
- Respectful / trustworthy
- Ability to adapt to and use technology
- Leadership skills
- Open to change
These are the skills and qualities that identify great educators. These are also the skills and qualities our company looks for when hiring recruiters.
Our CEO, Barbara Blau, began her career as a teacher, but eventually, circumstances changed, and she took a job in a recruiting agency. Fast-forward a few short years, and DP Professionals was born, focusing on recruiting and staffing in the IT arena. This year, DPP will celebrate 25 years of finding and placing IT professionals in exciting new jobs and careers. Barbara Blau still believes this was a great move for her, and it could be a challenging and fulfilling career move for other educators that are ready for something new.
Your core values and qualities, the ones that took you to a career in education, are the ticket to a new career where you can continue to make a difference in the lives of people.
Learn more about this opportunity today. We invite you to call Chris Dickenson (the proud father of a teacher), and explore with him how recruiting can be a challenging and rewarding career for you. Call (803) 978-1986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
1 Job burnout: How to spot it and take action (by the Staff at the Mayo Clinic) – Learn more about the symptoms of job burnout. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we encourage you to contact a medical or mental health advisor for help.
~Catherine Buck Morgan, Technology & Media Manager