We have all had those moments where we just feel like throwing our hands in the air and giving up. It’s almost inevitable to feel that way sometimes, especially in the human resources field, where you are required to be on top of so many things, yet the majority of what you do depends on someone else to be considered a success. It can be a high-pressure, low recognition job, since you are really a behind-the-scenes power that makes so many things run smoothly, but may only be noticed when things go wrong. It’s an industry where your feet aren’t held to the fire for sales numbers or high efficiency, but instead for retention rates, the time it takes to hire, and employee engagement. Sometimes the pressure can become too much for HR professionals, causing them to leave the job or even the industry.
So what’s the difference between the professionals who get burned out and the ones who are still going strong? In my opinion, it has a lot to do with perspective, as well as a few extenuating circumstances. Although it can be a tough job, leaders in HR also know how exciting, innovative, engaging, and diverse the job can be. Just as with any other industry, there are positive and negative aspects, so when you focus only on the stressors and not on the personal rewards of being great at your job, you can get to “I quit!” very quickly.
One of the things that make HR jobs overwhelming is the fact that you have to rely on so many other parties in order to be successful. Your department heads must decide what they’re looking for in an employee before you can really recruit, potential candidates must decide they’re interested in your organization before you can have a purposeful conversation with them, managers must then decide whether or not they like the candidates you present, and then the chosen candidate must determine whether or not he or she will take the job.
That’s a lot of effort, pushing, and motivating, and significant time investment in something that you can’t make happen without all of the other people complying. To keep from becoming a burned-out middleman, think about how you can make a difference. It can be frustrating to feel overlooked, but before you decide that the job is not for you, consider what you can improve upon. Would it help if you gained project management or motivational skills? Perhaps it’s just a matter of developing a better relationship with your internal managers, so your recommendations are accepted and even requested, or of building stronger connections to potential candidates, so that you’re more aware of their decision-making processes and outside influencers.
Extenuating Circumstances – The Things We Can’t Control
While we can alter the perspective we choose to take, there are some things we cannot control, and they can mean the difference between loving your job and dreading Monday morning. These factors can be specific to the organization, such as having to continually deliver bad news to the employees, or they can be confined to one person, like a boss who makes your life a living hell. I too have been guilty of hating my job because of a boss, and I knew that in order to not say “I quit!” to the industry, I had to say it to that specific job. If you’re in a negative environment with no sign of possible changes, sometimes you must cut your losses and move on before you become burned out. While it’s always a good idea to stick things out and learn along the way, occasionally there are those situations where it’s better for your long-term career, not to mention your sanity, to separate yourself.
How do you keep from getting burned out in your job? Let us know in the comments section below.