11 Alarming Signs That Your Job is Burning You Out

Any job can be stressful sometimes, but yours might be burning you out.

male employee having headache after working on laptop
Updated May 28, 2024
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Your job might lower your financial stress, but if it still causes mental and emotional issues, it may be a sign that you’re dealing with more than just a little stress.

Every job will have some off days or times when you don’t want to work. But if any of these signs of job burnout sound familiar, you may need to make some drastic changes before you go up in flames.

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Always tired

Graphicroyalty/Adobe sad woman holding her head because of sinus pain

You may be starting to burn out if you always feel tired no matter how much sleep you get. Maybe you have to drag yourself out of bed to get to work, or perhaps you don’t feel alert at your desk.

You might not be getting enough sleep due to concerns about your job keeping you up at night or causing you to toss and turn.

Becoming more negative

Vadim Pastuh/Adobe entrepreneur tired from work

It can be easy to be negative on occasion. But if you notice negativity creeping in during every meeting, email, or even personal interaction, it may be a good time to step back and reassess your situation.

You may just need to readjust your view and try to look at things through a more positive lens. But it may be a sign of burnout if you can’t pull yourself out of those negative moments or they come on more often.

No motivation

pathdoc/Adobe sleepy man with book laptop computer looking at alarm clock

Do you just stare at your work for hours with no real interest in getting anything done?

It’s a good idea to examine why you’re feeling that way, especially if you’d rather do nothing and let more issues pile up instead of tackling your workload.

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Can’t pay attention

Bavorndej/Adobe businesswoman feeling bored with meeting

You may notice your mind wandering during another busy meeting, or maybe you’re constantly getting distracted like a dog that sees a squirrel.

These little distractions could pile up into big issues as you get more burned out in your position.

Instead, you may want to find ways to give your brain a rest throughout the day before your burnout overwhelms your job.

Lonely at work

Pixel-Shot/Adobe lonely businessman in office

You can be surrounded by people — including an office full of co-workers — and still feel alone.

Detaching from others may be a sign that you don’t want to have any connection to the people who represent the thing you don’t like anymore: your job.

Reconnecting with some of your co-workers out of the office or talking to them about your issues could help you get back into the swing of your work life and be less stressed.

Don’t want to show up

studioprodakshn/Adobe businessman looks tired yawning while siting in his car

Are you trying to find every excuse not to get in your car and drive to work (or sit down at your desk to log in)?

There are mornings when it can be tough to get back to the office, but if it becomes a habit, you may want to find other options, like a change in routine or maybe even a change in your job.

Constantly on edge

StratfordProductions/Adobe stressed frustrated young businesswoman looking at laptop

You may notice you’re frustrated by any little thing at work, like co-workers talking or the phone ringing. Or maybe you’re getting snippy or ready to yell about things not working properly.

Take a step back and find a way to destress instead of letting these moments take over. It can help you see the issues more clearly, including whether it’s time to move on.

Finding comfort in bad habits

Nattakorn/Adobe fat man enjoys to eat unhealthy junk food

There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine after a long day at work or treating yourself to dessert as you decompress. 

But overindulging in bad habits repeatedly to cope with stress at work could be a bad sign both professionally and personally.

If you find yourself drinking too much or overeating, for example, it’s a good idea to ask others for help finding a better way to cope with issues at your job.

Never satisfied

pressmaster/Adobe annoyed manager

You’ve been working hard on a major project at your job and finally finished with congratulations for a job well done. But what if you don’t care about those accolades, or it’s not enough?

Try setting goals that make you happy and feel good to finish. If that doesn’t work, consider where you can take your talents and feel like your work is rewarding.

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No personal life

Paolese/Adobe worried guy holding cellphone at home

Working long hours under stressful conditions may affect not only your work but your personal life as well.

It’s important to set aside some time to do things that interest you outside of work.

Consider making plans with friends or making time to spend with your family instead of letting your work creep into all aspects of your life.

Poor health

rocketclips/Adobe patient explaining issues to a doctor using tablet

Stress and anger in your work life can hurt your physical and mental health. You may discover your blood pressure is going up or your mental state isn’t as good as it used to be.

If you experience any kind of medical setbacks, you may want to check with your doctor and ask if problems with your job are causing these issues.

They may be able to help you find different solutions to get you in a better state of health.

Bottom line

ronnarong/Adobe businesswoman working overtime at the office

If you’ve noticed signs like this at your job, it may be time for you to check out before you burn out.

Think about looking for a new position that can reduce your professional stress and potentially even boost your bank account. Even if the market isn't look as great as you hoped, it's completely OK to take a lower-paying job to protect your health and quality of life.

You also may want to look into making a career change and find something else that can suit your talents without the extra burnout.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.