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Don't Burn Out

or Fade Away
Dousing The Fires of Occupational Burnout
Avleen Vig (@avleen)
Dr Christina Maslach

Dr Michael P. Leiter

Etsy Ops Team

Family and Friends
Acknowledgements
2
Agenda
ACT 1
# What is Occupational

Burnout?
ACT 2
# A story of

burning out
ACT 3
# Staying sober
What is
occupational
burnout?
4
• Feeling tired a lot

• General unhappiness with your job

• Taking a break from your job to tend to other priorities

• ...
• Three concurrent symptoms:

• Exhaustion

• Cynicism

• Inefficacy
OK, So What Is Burnout?
6
• Antecedents of Burnout:
• Manageable workload
• Job control
• Reward

• Fairness
• Values
• Community
OK, So What Is Bur...
Work less, smile more!

Burnout solved, right?
WRONG
HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/NBCSNL/STATUS/782429425539219456
The path to

burning out
Burning Out: A Twelve Step Program
1. Compulsion to prove yourself

2. Working harder and harder

3. Ignoring other priori...
Burning Out: A Twelve Step Program
5. Only your work matters now, YOU MUST SUCCEED!

6. You start blaming your workload, d...
Burning Out: A Twelve Step Program
9. Inefficacy is in full force

You don't see yourself or others as valuable

10. Emoti...
OK, That was intense.

Take a deep breath…
A story of

burning out
16
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• Started in June 2013
• A "simple" project: Migrate from a proprietary to an open-source sy...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• Started working a few late nights
• No-one minds much, it's important work!
• Only person ...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• September 2013, summer is over
• Can't sleep in every day, family needs me
• Starting to f...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• December 2013, exhaustion is in full effect
• Learning has been difficult, but I made it!
...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• March 2014, reality is starting to kick in
• Work is taking much longer than expected
• Re...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• June 2014, things are dark
• Stopped turning up to work on time
• Work is depressing
• Lif...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
23
CONSPIRACY!
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
24
3 hours later…
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
25
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• First vacation in 5 years!
• Disengagement time is long (~>1 week)
• Family and friends ar...
How I Burnt Out and Recovered
• When I returned to work
• Starting over, re-learning my job
• Small steps
• Helping others...
Recovering and
staying sober
28
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Identify which areas are disconnected:
• Workload, Job Control, Reward, Fairness, Values...
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Workload
• Are you too available?

• Is there too much work?

• Is the pressure to compl...
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Job control
• Are you micromanaged?

• Do you have weak leadership?

• Are teams ineffec...
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Reward
• Do you need more money?

• Could more perks, rather than money, help?

• Is you...
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Fairness
• Disrespect

• Discrimination
33
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Community
• Do people act in divisive ways?

• Do you have communication problems?

• Do...
Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout
• Values
• Do your views align with your company's?

• Do you and your team mates care abo...
Your greatest
responsibility
36
Help your team stay
sober
Signs of Burning Out
• Mood changes
• Are they frequently cynical, unhappy or complaining about their work?
• Reduced effi...
Helping Others Out of Burnout
If you see signs of burnout:
• Encourage a longer vacation (2+ weeks)
• Help find tightly sc...
Q&A
40
@avleen
Please rate this
talk!
Don't Burn Out or Fade Away
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Don't Burn Out or Fade Away

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Conquering occupational burnout

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Don't Burn Out or Fade Away

  1. 1. Don't Burn Out
 or Fade Away Dousing The Fires of Occupational Burnout Avleen Vig (@avleen)
  2. 2. Dr Christina Maslach
 Dr Michael P. Leiter
 Etsy Ops Team
 Family and Friends Acknowledgements 2
  3. 3. Agenda ACT 1 # What is Occupational
 Burnout? ACT 2 # A story of
 burning out ACT 3 # Staying sober
  4. 4. What is occupational burnout? 4
  5. 5. • Feeling tired a lot
 • General unhappiness with your job
 • Taking a break from your job to tend to other priorities
 • Feeling bored because your current project sucks What is NOT Burn Out? 5
  6. 6. • Three concurrent symptoms:
 • Exhaustion
 • Cynicism
 • Inefficacy OK, So What Is Burnout? 6
  7. 7. • Antecedents of Burnout: • Manageable workload • Job control • Reward
 • Fairness • Values • Community OK, So What Is Burnout? 7
  8. 8. Work less, smile more!
 Burnout solved, right?
  9. 9. WRONG HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/NBCSNL/STATUS/782429425539219456
  10. 10. The path to
 burning out
  11. 11. Burning Out: A Twelve Step Program 1. Compulsion to prove yourself
 2. Working harder and harder
 3. Ignoring other priorities: work/life balance, family, friends, resting
 4. Starting to blame others and your job (i) Cynicism comes on strong (ii) You struggle to isolate the true causes of your stress and problems 11
  12. 12. Burning Out: A Twelve Step Program 5. Only your work matters now, YOU MUST SUCCEED!
 6. You start blaming your workload, denying anything is wrong with you
 7. You withdraw from non-work life
 Thoughts of work consume your waking and sleeping times
 You might start dreaming of work
 8. Others start to notice changes in behaviour
 You don't believe them
 Or you feel they're not helping
 What do they know? They can't possibly understand! 12
  13. 13. Burning Out: A Twelve Step Program 9. Inefficacy is in full force
 You don't see yourself or others as valuable
 10. Emotional withdraw and emptiness
 11. Depression kicks in
 Exhaustion and feelings of hopelessness
 12. Full burn out syndrome
 Emotional and physical collapse
 Deep depression
 Suicidal tendencies
 Medical attention sometimes required
 13 FREUDENBERGER/NORTH, "BURNED OUT", SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND, JUNE 2006
  14. 14. OK, That was intense.
 Take a deep breath…
  15. 15. A story of
 burning out 16
  16. 16. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • Started in June 2013 • A "simple" project: Migrate from a proprietary to an open-source system • Steep learning curve for new system • Lots to learn, lots of fun! • Really wanted to prove I could pull this off • … prove it to whom? Hmm … 17
  17. 17. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • Started working a few late nights • No-one minds much, it's important work! • Only person on the project • Everyone else is busy • If I pull this off myself, it'll be amazing! • … I can work a little harder, right? Hmm … 18
  18. 18. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • September 2013, summer is over • Can't sleep in every day, family needs me • Starting to feel more tired • Family starts picking up the slack at home… Hmm… 19
  19. 19. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • December 2013, exhaustion is in full effect • Learning has been difficult, but I made it! • Colleagues are proud of my work 20
  20. 20. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • March 2014, reality is starting to kick in • Work is taking much longer than expected • Refusing to accept I can't complete this • Feelings of inefficacy are quite strong • Why won't others help me? • Are they plotting against me? 21
  21. 21. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • June 2014, things are dark • Stopped turning up to work on time • Work is depressing • Life is depressing • Feeling hopeless 22
  22. 22. How I Burnt Out and Recovered 23 CONSPIRACY!
  23. 23. How I Burnt Out and Recovered 24
  24. 24. 3 hours later… How I Burnt Out and Recovered 25
  25. 25. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • First vacation in 5 years! • Disengagement time is long (~>1 week) • Family and friends are really important • You need a life outside work 26
  26. 26. How I Burnt Out and Recovered • When I returned to work • Starting over, re-learning my job • Small steps • Helping others first • This takes time - sometimes months 27
  27. 27. Recovering and staying sober 28
  28. 28. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Identify which areas are disconnected: • Workload, Job Control, Reward, Fairness, Values, Community • How can you re-establish that connection? • First define the problem, then find a solution • Rebuild self-confidence: • Start with small wins in your work • Doesn't have to be significant, just successful • Slowly build up to bigger work 29
  29. 29. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Workload • Are you too available?
 • Is there too much work?
 • Is the pressure to complete work too high? 30
  30. 30. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Job control • Are you micromanaged?
 • Do you have weak leadership?
 • Are teams ineffective? 31
  31. 31. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Reward • Do you need more money?
 • Could more perks, rather than money, help?
 • Is your work being recognised? 32
  32. 32. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Fairness • Disrespect
 • Discrimination 33
  33. 33. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Community • Do people act in divisive ways?
 • Do you have communication problems?
 • Do you have trouble handling conflicts in the team? 34
  34. 34. Pulling Yourself Out of Burnout • Values • Do your views align with your company's?
 • Do you and your team mates care about the same things?
 • Are you working towards common and shared goals? 35
  35. 35. Your greatest responsibility 36
  36. 36. Help your team stay sober
  37. 37. Signs of Burning Out • Mood changes • Are they frequently cynical, unhappy or complaining about their work? • Reduced efficacy • Are they producing less work? • Making mistakes they normally wouldn't? • Tiredness • Are they regularly staying up late, or missing deadlines? • Do they complain of exhaustion? 38
  38. 38. Helping Others Out of Burnout If you see signs of burnout: • Encourage a longer vacation (2+ weeks) • Help find tightly scoped tasks • Each task should be quick (< 1 hour) • Ask them for answers they know • Make them feel wanted and valued • Start looking for bigger tasks over time - it may take months 39
  39. 39. Q&A 40 @avleen Please rate this talk!

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