When passion flirts with burnout…
Although loving your work may be a source of fulfillment, it can turn into a nightmare if you don’t set limits.
Here’s an unconscious proposition that is shared on a wide scale: burnout — a syndrome of physical and psychological exhaustion brought on by intense professional activity — is something that only happens to other people. If you think you’ve been spared because you are passionate about your job, then Jennifer Moss, author of the bestselling Unlocking Happiness at Work, will change your mind.
Enthusiasm can lead to obsession without your really noticing. And the collateral damage can result in work-life imbalance, which lies behind one-third of all cases of burnout. It goes without saying that it’s much better to be enthusiastic about your job than to be dying of boredom. But if this passion becomes all-consuming and ends up overtaking your personal life, then it’s absolutely urgent to acknowledge the need for a break. Moss suggests you can avoid this calamitous state of affairs if you learn to set limits — for yourself and your teams (and there’s no shame in doing so). The WHO has established a clear definition of burnout, which it now sees as a legitimate threat. You can also look at various processes for measuring the problem, as well as educating, helping, and supporting your staff to help circumvent the danger.
To go further:
“When passion leads to burnout” (Harvard Business Review, July 2019).