4 Important Signs Job Burnout May Be Harming Your Career

4 Important Signs Job Burnout May Be Harming Your Career
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Job burnout in the film industry is a problem that often goes unacknowledged.  We may think the symptoms are merely the result of the long hours we all work in our business.  However, the overwhelmed feeling we experience from job burnout can impact our ability to thrive mentally, emotionally, and physically.

If we don’t acknowledge and deal with the symptoms, we may find that job burnout has compromised our health and careers.

Here are four symptoms of job burnout to be aware of:

  1. Fatigue

Looking back, I realize that I spent years of my life in a state of fatigue due to the long hours we spend on set.  It’s not healthy to be constantly fatigued.  When we don’t get enough sleep, exhaustion, irritation, poor concentration, and memory lapses can result.

We know our industry has brutally long hours, but we need to find ways to get enough rest.

It’s impossible to function well when you’re fatigued.

  1. Constant Stress

We all know what stress feels like, and it’s not pleasant or healthy.  When you’re under constant pressure, you become short-tempered and impatient.  Your ability to make good decisions is compromised, and your performance at work suffers.

Some shows are high-pressure shows where you’re constantly stressed out.  I’ve been on jobs like that, and the impact on my mental and physical health wasn’t worth it.  I even developed an eye twitch on one show because I was so stressed and exhausted.

Choose your jobs wisely.

  1. Inability to perform at a high level

If you’re snapping at co-workers, things are falling through the cracks at work, and you have no enthusiasm for what you’re doing, you’re probably experiencing job burnout.

I know that overwhelmed feeling, and it can feel hopeless going to work every day.  It’s also challenging to get back on track once you’re in this state.  I ended up realizing that things wouldn’t change on one particular show, and I had to move on.

That’s the great thing about freelancing.  No job is permanent, and you can always find another job.  I did.

  1. Your alertness suffers

Physically, job burnout slows your ability to move and weakens your immune system.  If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to keep our immune systems strong.

I suspect that some of the accidents that occur on set result from decreased alertness due to stress and exhaustion.  If you feel your attention to your surroundings isn’t what it should be at work, beware.

We’re expected to perform at maximum efficiency at work, no matter how tired and stressed we are.  It can be a formula for disaster in terms of our health and job performance.


Studies have shown that some work situations are conducive to job burnout.  Here are a few to be aware of:

  • Lack of control at work and little ability to influence decisions that affect you and your job.
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. That’s a work situation that everyone in our industry has experienced.  We work with creative, often volatile people, and the workplace dynamics can be anything but functional.
  • Work-life imbalance. Just about everyone in our business has a work-life imbalance, and it’s not healthy.  No one can work all the time and stay physically and emotionally strong.


According to health experts, seek support from co-workers, friends, and family to help you cope.  Exercise can also help us deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed.  While our industry jobs often involve movement, it’s not the same as pursuing fitness in a more relaxing setting.

Practicing mindfulness through breathing, yoga, and meditation can also help.

Ultimately, we need to use judgment in the jobs we choose to accept.  It can be satisfying to work on a great show with wonderful people.  That’s what made many of us want to work in the industry in the first place.

The grueling jobs that burn us out are the ones that make us want to leave it.  Choose your jobs wisely to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.







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