Every once in a while I decide to Google how stress is affecting our culture and, more often than not, the information makes me want to crawl into bed! Workplace burnout is not a new subject, I say to myself, so why aren’t busy professionals getting it? Though anyone can experience burnout, there are a number of professions that are more prone to exhaustion than others. I thought I’d take a look at the top ten today, and I’m betting you’ll not be the least bit surprised at the intel my digging around turned up.
Top Ten Careers for Workplace Burnout
Tops among the weariest workers are physicians. How can this be? I wondered when I read the astounding fact that the American Medical Association estimates that nearly 50% of physicians suffer from serious job burnout. The stress of patient care, long hours and administrative burdens associated with practicing medicine seem to be the culprits here, and topping this top list for exhaustion are the emergency medical technicians, family practitioners and internists among this stressed-out set. Do me a favor, would you? The next time you go to see the doc, give him or her a big hug for me. I actually insist!
And while you’re at it, hug his or her nurses, as they are next on the list due to higher nurse-to-patient ratios, which seem to creep up every year. Combined with long shifts, the intensity of what they do puts these important medical professionals at risk for burnout.
Third on the list are social workers suffering from what has been dubbed compassion fatigue. The fact that their work with clients can spill over into their personal lives adds to their stress levels to create a condition the National Institutes of Health has dubbed Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) syndrome.
Teachers and school principals are numbers four and five on the list, the educators tapped as having the highest burnout rate of any public service jobs. Working conditions and access to technology are partly to blame, with the youngest teachers feeling the pinch to the point that many of them under the age of 30 leave the profession altogether.
Take a look at the opening salvo of the PDF the National Association of Elementary School Principals has put on its website for principals seeking relief in the above screenshot—it pretty much says it all, don’t you think? The organization contends that as many as 75% of elementary school principals experience significant stress due to on-the-job pressures.
Attorneys fall in line at number six, their particular brand of burnout attributed to the fact that they continually focus on problems and have such extreme competitiveness for clients and among their associates.
No surprise to me are the next two categories—police officers and public accountants. The very nature of the work that law enforcement officials engage in is stressful due to the high-risk situations that come at them routinely. Paired with a hectic lifestyle, the fact that they are continually exposed to the worst of human nature seems to be one of the reasons the job proves untenable for some who passionately embraced it in the beginning.
Stress for accountants comes from heavy client loads and the pile-up of work that takes place during seasonal tax-preparation schedules and quarterly filing deadlines. Rounding out this top ten of the world’s weariest are fast food and retail workers. Low pay and monotonous tasks seem to be the top two reasons these workers burnout with an alarming regularity.
Burnout Sufferers: Get Some Sleep!
The trusted Mayo Clinic offers a concise list of ways to handle job burnout, one of which is “get some sleep.” Its experts contend, “Sleep restores well-being and helps protect health. Aim for at least 7-8 hours each night.” We at Pandora de Balthazár believe this list is light years beyond a wakeup call, as the tiredness so many of us experience has become a chronic component of life. I only wish those who suffer so cruelly from it could understand what we have come to know about the benefits of the ergonomic pillows in our European Sleep System. I’m not kidding you: it changes lives! We also have hypoallergenic products that make a tremendous difference in the lives of those who suffer from allergies.
Arianna Huffington got the message loudly and clearly enough to have written a book about the need for sleep—I share my thoughts on the web-savvy woman’s ideas about the life-work balance in my next blog post. Oh, and, please, get some high-quality sleep if you’ve yawned even once while reading this post! You don’t want me to think I’m boring, do you?
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