Preventing Job Burnout

Preventing Job Burnout: Transforming Work Pressures into Productivity by Dr. Beverly A. Potter

When I first thumbed through this workbook, I was still bewildered by my burnout. I couldn't figure out if I was fried from a hectic work pace, the social work profession, my coworkers, my clients. I knew that I was in a dark, cynical, exhausting place and that I wanted out. But how? How could I escape if I wasn't sure how I got there?  Thankfully this workbook helped me unmask much of the mystery and gave me a roadmap to climb out.

Dr Potter begins her workbook with an overview of burnout and provides a burnout test which gives you an opportunity to place yourself on a burnout continuum which ranges from doing well to burning out. Once you learn where you stand on the road to burnout, you can use the exercises and case examples which follow to further understand your burnout, how you got there, and how to relieve it.

The workbook contains a noteworthy section called "demotivating work situations." This portion of the workbook was a big eye-opener which helped me to identify a myriad of employer-induced obstacles which stood in the way of my performing at my best. I'm sure many social workers will see themselves in that section of the workbook! Equally helpful was the test to rate the burnout potential of my job. Not only could I see myself on a continuum of needing preventive vs corrective action, I could better conceptualize specific workplace dynamics which needed to be addressed immediately, such as work overload, lack of feedback, ethics clashes, supervisory issues, etc.

Although the entire subject of burnout is skillfully handled throughout the manual, I found that the real strength of this author was her ability to guide me into an understanding of what I needed to be content at work and perform at my best. While she addresses stress management techniques, she doesn't stop there as so many burnout books do. She explores with you a number of helpful strategies, including workplace improvements, healthy detachment, skill building, and changing jobs.

If you're willing to sit down and engage in some honest self-exploration, you will find that Dr Potter's workbook offers excellent tools which will clarify for you what you need at the workplace. Once you know what you need, you are able to set healthy goals to improve your workplace or seek employment elsewhere. As a diligent guide, Dr Potter also helps you break down your goals into small, manageable steps.

If you're ready today to start down a healthier path, this is an excellent place to begin! Dr Potter does a fantastic job of condensing everything you need to know ... and do ... about job burnout into a concise, easy-to-use workbook.





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Revised: 04 Sep 2005