From the desk of Kellie Hetler,
Growing up in the rural Midwest, the mantra I was raised on was, “It’s not work if you love what you do”.
In this increasingly competitive job market, many people choose jobs for reasons other than emotional reward. Paying bills, supporting a family, or other circumstances that don’t always allow you to meet the requirements for a job that you love.
This mantra created an idea of everything you work hard for should be fun. This is not the case. In fact, I take pride in the hard work I do to provide myself with the life I want. However, I know first-hand how that balance between work life and personal life can be lost during the busy seasons of our life.
I am here to confess that I lost myself in the burnout culture.
I have always been a creative mind and loved being a servant to others. This led me to pursuing the career I am working towards now. But on this long road to success, I have had to get myself a job to put me through school and support myself.
I started working for a retail corporation and quickly became their top sales leader. I was proud of myself for being able to connect with so many people and help them not only find outfits for all the important events in their life but also make them feel good about themselves. I loved my co-workers, my boss, and the relationships I was building with my clients.
Then BOOM. The pandemic hit and the world shut down.
Thankfully the company I worked for provided great furlough with compensation and were guaranteed a job back once everything opened again.
This was the beginning of my burnout.
I was quickly asked to come back and work with a limited number of employees, which meant more hours than I was comfortable with while finishing the rest of the school semester completely online.
During the start of my next semester of school, I was moved to a larger location to help them while desperately looking for more employees.
I started sacrificing weekends with my family so I could make more money over the busy weekends that come with working retail. I signed up for this job, so I thought that I needed to just suck it up and keep working.
Burnout does not always mean hours committed; it can be the emotional drain from working.
I started to get consumed with the idea of money equals happiness and the money I was making was getting me through school so I could pursue my dream. Little did I know that this job was doing more than burning me out.
It was distracting me from my true goals.
I became bitter towards my friends who I saw were able to enjoy their life and not work so hard and sacrifice as much as I did. I would shut out the relationships in my life so that I wouldn’t feel distracted and ultimately sad that I was working so much.
My job consumed my mind outside of the workplace. The culture that they trained me to believe was one that told you that the co-workers you have are enough to substitute from the relationships you have outside of work.
Something in burnout culture that is not talked about as much as it should be is the guilt that is put on you from you peers and higher ups and work. I was giving them more of myself than I was comfortable with.
My main goal in life at the time was to continue to be top sales on the team and continue to impress my boss hoping that one day I would be compensated more for my efforts.
Burnout hit me hard when I realized that everything I was working for was not for the greater good of myself in my career and personal life.
I would constantly think to myself, “why am I working so hard and sacrificing myself to a company that is not appreciating my time and compensating me accordingly”.
Now after reading all of that you’re probably wondering how I turned this experience into a positive one.
And to be brutally honest. It didn’t.
And that is OKAY!
Now hear me out, I’m not saying that you should go into your job tomorrow and quit. I am saying that sometimes it is ok to find your breaking point and move forward.
In my situation, I found that this experience was holding me back and not letting me grow into the individual that I wanted to be.
However, I did not leave this experience feeling empty. I grew so much as a person and learned how to place boundaries in areas of my life that would help me prosper.
I have the confidence that I never knew that I could possess and truly I believe in myself when things get hard.
Forget the mantra do what you love. Change it into LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
We are all on THE JOURNEY TO LOVE and not just doing things that we enjoy. This experience taught me three tips on how to prevent burnout for the future:
1. Understand that no job is perfect. Anyone who pretends to love every aspect of their job is living a lie. We are meant to do hard things. It makes us grow in our work and personal lives. Starting by being conscious of your attitude towards a task and when you finish the task reflect on how that accomplishment makes you feel. Work towards a goal that you love, and you will love the outcome.
2. Count what brings you true love. Everyone loves something or someone else more than their job. Which is good! Whether it’s enjoying a hobby, spending time with friends, or traveling, at the end of the day it is these blessings that bring you true happiness. Appreciate the small things and reflect on what gives you the satisfaction. Work is exhausting but serving the people you work with and carrying out you’re your job to your best ability can be another source of love in your life. It can be even more rewarding that merely “doing what you love”.
3. Acknowledge your emotions. As someone who often put’s other feelings above mine, I push mine to the back burner. This leads to frustration and bitterness. Make sure you have an outlet, may that be friends, a book or relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of the day. Put yourself and emotions first so that you can acknowledge your desires and accomplishments.
I know how hard it is to do these things alone… so I want to invite you to join Kelsey and Grace in their Resilience Multiplier Course!
They have seen the crazy outcomes of getting a group of women in a room and talking about their struggles with burnout, so I know they could help you too!
With love, Kellie.