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How Millennials Can Avoid the Dreaded Job Burnout in Malaysia

How Millennials Can Avoid the Dreaded Job Burnout in Malaysia

03 Jun 12:00 by Deana Zafir

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Job burnout is a serious issue plaguing many talented employees. It can affect anyone working jobs from part-time and temp positions to full-time jobs in Malaysia. Burnout is such a serious issue that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as a medical condition. The WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome that is the result of chronic workplace stress, that has not been successfully managed”. 

Three common symptoms of burnout include:  

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or mental and/or physical exhaustion

  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job or negative feelings associated with one’s job

  3. Reduced work efficiency - it takes a long time to complete the simplest of tasks

A quick online search for “job burnout” will show multiple articles asking you to either switch or quit your job. As someone who has experienced burnout, the truth is that job burnout can be avoided and even remedied. 

My Experience With Job Burnout

Several years ago, I was working for a small company. During my first few months, I felt like I was progressing and working in my dream industry. But soon after, I realised that my lack of work-life balance made it very hard for me to focus on the job.

As my career progressed, I found that I had little to no energy to hang out with my friends after work. There were days when I didn’t even have the mental capacity to watch a TV show because it was too stimulating. It might sound harmless but the less social life I had, the more disillusioned I became of my job.

Needless to say, I was burnt out. And I decided to quit my dream career. A move that I still question to this very day.

Singapore is a fast-paced city. We live in a country that prioritizes money and career because of our high standard of living. Little to no money can sometimes result in a stressful life - thanks to all the bills we have to pay.

Additionally, those working in industries like finance often describe themselves as vampires. They leave for work before the sun is up, and work all day long until the sun sets. It’s a tough life out here. As such, most of us find it natural to work long hours at relatively stressful jobs, in order to make a living.

Here are some ways for you to reduce the devastating effects of job burnout:

1. Take a break and relax

No machine can work a whole day without needing some form of rest. So why are you forcing yourself to work for hours on end without taking time out to do some serious relaxation? If you find yourself slumping off work towards the end of the day, take some time to recuperate. You can do this by watching a short video on YouTube or even going out for a short walk. A change of scenery is always helpful!

Don’t forget to take some time off during the weekends to relax as well. Whether it’s spending time with your family and friends or just yourself. Think about all the things that you can do to relax and make time for it.

2. Get enough daily sleep

The average adult needs at least 6 hours of sleep in order to function adequately. Poor sleep can have a negative impact on both your work and personal life. Poor sleep affects your life negatively in many different ways. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, which leads to poor concentration, leaving you space to make careless mistakes at your job.

Getting enough sleep but still, feel tired? Perhaps it has something to do with the quality of your sleep instead. Click here for some simple steps you can take to get better quality sleep.

3. Organize your priorities

When you’re stressed out, things seem to be a lot more difficult than they can be. Additionally, people who are burnt out tend to spend a lot of time procrastinating. Procrastinating also leads to employees spending a lot of their time worrying about completing the job.

One way to combat this is by making a list of all your priorities or things to do. The to-do list can be either a physical copy or an electronic copy. With this, you won’t keep worrying that you’ve missed something important out since you’ll have a list to help remind you.

4. Take a long holiday

Personally, for me, the best way to relieve job burnout was to take a long holiday. Going overseas, and spending time away from my supervisor’s texts and work emails helped me get my head back in the game.

A long holiday also reminded me of all the reasons I needed my job. With my job, I was able to go on a long break in a city where a lot of my friends are. I didn’t flinch when they dragged me halfway around Australia to try out some deliciously pricey food. The experience definitely made the long, tireless nights at work worth it.

5. Make time for your hobbies and activities focused on self-care


Different people practice different forms of self-care. Some might find a walk through nature comforting and restorative. Others prefer to punch and kick their way through Muay Thai or push their limits at the gym. As long as you’re practicing and doing activities from a place of self-compassion. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. Your body and mind will find the activity relaxing and restorative.

6. Talk to someone, anyone!

As human beings, we tend to keep our problems encased in us. We collect them, until one day, something minor triggers us to flip out at the source of our problems. If your job is putting a significant amount of stress on you, try talking it out with someone you trust. You’d be surprised at how comforting it is to confide to a friend about your stressors.

But be careful! When I confided about the stressors of my old job to a colleague, I was surprised to find that they too had similar complaints. At first, it was comforting to hear that I wasn’t alone - that my problems were real. But soon, it festered into something more toxic and left me turning more and more disillusioned of my job.

It is normal to experience some stress when you’re at your job. But chronic and long-term stress can lead to job burnout. Burnout does not discriminate. It can affect employees working part-time and temp positions in Malaysia. To those who work full-time. 

When your job constantly puts your mind and body in a constant state of stress, it leaves the employee worn out both emotionally and physically. During this time, even the smallest of issues can seem insurmountable.

Before you decide to leave your job due to burnout, consider following the steps outlined above. Sometimes, you just need to step out away from your desk, to truly appreciate what you do.

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