5 Warning Signs You’re Burning Out At Work


As of 2019, Singapore has one of the most stressed workforces in the world, according to reports from TodayOnline.

So it isn’t inconceivable that job burnout actually happens more often here in Singapore than most of us realise.




And while top-down initiatives to curb job burnout may have increased in the last few years, the best way to tackle it probably boils down to the plain and simple fact: we each need to know how to take care of ourselves.

Start with taking SSA Academy’s WSQ course on developing personal effectiveness and learn indispensable skills on stress management and maintaining work-life balance.


What job burnout is & isn’t


Like any good fight, the first step to winning the battle is to know what you’re up against.

Job burnout typically refers to a prolonged state of near total depletion (mentally, physically, and emotionally.)



It might happen for 3 different reasons:

  • You’ve got way too much on your plate at work
  • You’re not feeling challenged enough at work
  • You feel like you’re not good enough to do your job


It’s not just about feeling tired from work; job burnout can make entire months feel torturous because it impairs your ability to function normally.


Warning signs


1. You’re just tired. All the time.


The alarm on your phone goes off: you’re tired. Sitting down for breakfast: you’re tired. Reaching the office: you’re tired. Time for lunch: too tired. Time to go home: tired, tired, tired.

Rinse & repeat for the next few days, then weeks, then months.



The most tell-tale sign of burnout is feeling exhausted all day long, regardless of whether you’re engaging in demanding tasks at work or not, and regardless of whether you went to bed at 10PM or 3AM the previous day.

If it carries on for long enough, you’ll even start hating coming to work every single day.


2. It’s difficult to care about doing your job well.

It’s not that you don’t know how to be great at what you do.

It’s that you just don’t really care anymore, probably because you’re too tired to think.


To you, the only thing that matters now is scraping by with the bare minimum of what’s expected of you.


3. The things you used to love about work don’t spark joy anymore.

Not everything sparks joy–your job certainly doesn’t anymore, not to you, anyways.

You might have loved the challenges that your job presented to you when you first came in, and even if you didn’t love every part of it, you genuinely looked forward to certain aspects of it more than others.




Now, you’re dragging your feet everywhere and dreading everything, including the things you used to treasure so much about your work.

It can be especially dismaying when you realise this because it paints such a vivid picture of how much things have changed since you first came in, and how tired you are of everything now.


4. You feel jaded about everything.

Forget aligning yourself with the company vision or its core values, forget feeling fulfilled at work, forget constantly trying to outdo yourself.




There’s such a jarring disparity between the current state of your job and what you initially thought it would look like, that it’s difficult to feel anything other than disillusioned.

It’s just not all it’s cracked up to be.


5. Taking care of yourself feels like a chore

Because it feels like you’re suffering from fatigue round the clock, even getting some good old self-care going feels hard.



How about hanging out with some friends after work? Nah, too tired.

Try sleeping earlier? Can’t, have to finish up on work.

Eating healthier? Who cares, I’ve got too much work to think about that!


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