What To Do When Your Fuel Tank Is On E?

Dear Readers,

How many of you have had the feeling of burnout in your career? The feeling where you feel like your ready for a change in careers and need something to do that is different than what you currently do for one reason or another! Many people tend to have this feeling or have had it once upon a time in their life, and if you are one of these people who have had this feeling, this post is for you!

Over the past few weeks I had this feeling of being burned out at my present job, I felt like I had been giving it my all and was not being respected by neither my colleagues or the children who I provide care to, and rather than seeking assistance from management I left my concerns unresolved (not a good idea, I know!) and expected that I would either just get over it -or- that my concerns would resolve themselves.

However, my problems did not resolve themselves but rather I found that my feelings of being burned out with the position had rather snowballed (increased overtime), and it was not until the the last couple days that I had a sort of rejuvenation. This rejuvenation was due in part of my performance evaluation in combination with a “cleaning” of the facilities and a sort of “pep talk” to accompany it.

With that being said, my question is what will the shelf-life be for this sudden rejuvenation of my high-spirits?

As a member of the workforce for a little over nine years, with most of those years of work experience in the restaurant industry, I have experienced many meetings with a lot of hype that promised large amounts of change, but in the end nothing ever changed except for me beginning to lack trust in the system.

Am I off base? Since I am not a government employee at this time, does this exist in government as well?

Please provide feedback, as I am interested in what others have to say (both individuals who are presently in government as well as those who are not).

Thank You,

Michael O. Johnston

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Mark Danielson

You know, I think about this stuff a lot,

Burnout is everywhere Michael. You must be a special guy, because rarely does a performance evaluation give folks a lift. “The system” will not give you happiness. Your colleagues are too busy fighting their own burnout to help you with yours.

So Michael, that “lack of burnout'” that “why the hell am I doing this?”, that joy you (and I) seek, has to come from you.

I’m with you Michael, where is the wholeness of satisfaction, what is it that will give hope? It could be in the way we react to each and every opportunity. That’s what I’ve been thinking lately – Especially after Monday rolls through. Thanks for another chance to think about this Michael. To answer directly. There is major burn-out in government. Just like everywhere else.

Michael O. Johnston


I completely agree with you, and also believe that it lies in the way one reacts in each and every opportunity that comes around. Unfortunately there are not a lot of wholesome good opportunities that come along, most of the time it’s that opportunity that I would compare to an old beat up car, it gets you to the next stop and thats about it.

Now onto the next topic, the reason that I have a positive take on performance evaluations is because I know that nobody is perfect including myself, and therefore I use the performance evaluation as a critiquing of myself to help myself explore what I can do to improve my work so that I can do better on the next evaluation (I’m always looking to improve myself).

Thanks for the feedback Mark, this is a very fascinating topic, there are a lot of ideas out there but not many answers!


Well there are many things to prevent burnout I was with one company over 18 years and in that timeframe I lived in 3 different metro areas in the US and worked in over 9 company locations. What I’m getting at is, keeping your job fresh (i.e. take on special projects, do work community projects etc.). Also allow yourself to enjoy activities outside of work that you are passionate about. Some people feel guilty if they don’t everything all the time to their job (even when they are not physically there.) All work will burn you out quick even if you enjoy your work. Leave time for play.