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How Do You Know That It’s Time to Leave Your Job?

A Burnout Therapist in Los Angeles, California Discusses the Difference Between Being Burnt out and Needing a Career Shift

Experiencing burnout at work isn’t an unusual thing. As a matter of fact, job burnout is the most common form of burnout that people experience during their lifetime. However, job burnout may get to a point where it’s almost impossible to do anything worthwhile or experience any bliss with the work you do.

One of the coping mechanisms (usually the last resort) of work burnout is to quit your job. But at what point do you resolve to quit and make a career shift? Read on to know the difference between the two.

What Does Work Burnout Look Like?

Work burnout is a distinct type of work-related stress that causes physical or emotional exhaustion. Sometimes, it causes both. It’s also characterized by a reduced sense of accomplishment and loss of personal identity when thinking about work. A number of things can cause work burnout, but top on the list are;

  • Unclear job expectations,
  • Monotonous/chaotic work activities,
  • Lack of control,
  • Dysfunctional work environment,
  • Work-life imbalance, and
  • Lack of social support.

When you’re burned out at work, it shows in various ways, ranging from total exhaustion during activities, performance suffering, physical ailments, and lack of excitement towards work. Consequences of burnout will tell on both your work output and other areas of your life and general health.

Consequences, from excessive stress, irritation, and interpersonal problems, to substance abuse, heart, and digestive problems, and general vulnerability to illnesses, can affect you.

What’s the Difference Between Burning out and the Need for a Career Shift?

Burnout or career change, difference between burnout and needing a change in career

There’s a difference between giving your job a second chance and completely moving away from it because it just cannot work anymore. And that difference is a very thin line. Here’s a guide to identifying that line;

There’s no room for improvement at work

A job that you work at ‘tirelessly’ should allow you to grow and progress your career. But if you’re at a job that doesn’t give you that space, rather it only takes away from you, it’s probably a sign that you need to make a shift. There’s little or nothing that can be done about the burnout you experience from that kind of job.

It’s a Toxic Work Environment

There’s a difference between working in a dysfunctional environment and a toxic one. In the former, conversations can be had, and structural changes can be made. However, the workplace culture will affect your output, and it’ll have the most negative impact on your work.

You Don’t fit Into the Company Culture

One of the best ways of getting the best out of employees is ensuring they identify with and see themselves as a part of the company culture. But if you find yourself shying away from talking about where you work, what you do, or how impactful your work is, it may question your fit into the company. This continuously happening will not only burn you out, but it will also leave you frustrated and questioning your decisions relating to work.

Other Tell-tale Signs That you Should Make a Career Shift Include;

  • It’s taking a toll on your health
  • You dread going to work
  • You’re already considering somewhere else

Things to Consider Before Making a Career Shift

It’s one thing to realize that you need a career shift, but it’s another to take adequate steps, so the same thing doesn’t repeat itself in your new workplace. If you’re looking to transfer to a new workplace, you should try some of the following;

Ensure you fit into the Company Culture

You want to make sure that this new workplace is somewhere you’ll fit into. There’s no point changing into a place where you’ll be having the same issues.

Consider the Growth Potential and the Role You’re Offered

Can you advance your career at this new company, or is there another role that may maximize your skills and potential?

Ask About the Company Structure

One of the reasons people get easily burned out is because of the lack of structure. Make sure your roles are defined, and there’s a structure in place for check and balance.


Work burnout is a real thing, and sometimes, you need to do whatever it takes to free yourself of an exhausting work environment.

However, you know you don’t want to make a career change without considering your options. It’s not in every instance of burnout that you need a career shift. Sometimes, you may just need to reconsider your present position and deal with the burnout you’re experiencing.

Find a burnout therapist today to help you make the decision and transition that is most beneficial for you for your successful future!

Begin Therapy for Burnout Recovery in Los Angeles, CA, and NYC, New York

Here at Yellow Chair Collective, we understand that career transitions and burnout can be emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. An individual therapist can provide the compassionate space that you may need to process your experiences and navigate this difficult journey.

Our Los Angeles, CA, and New York City, NY-based therapy practice has many neurodivergent-affirming, trauma-informed therapists who specialize in supporting burnout, anxiety and stress management, depression, relational issues, and more. For your added convenience and simplicity, we offer online therapy for anyone in the state of California or New York. We know that your mental health is important, and we want to help you work through whatever’s holding you back. Follow the steps below to begin.

  1. Fill out the contact form to get connected with us.
  2. Get matched with a skilled sensitive therapist.
  3. Start understanding your sensitivity and improving your self-care today.

Relevant Resources

Yellow Chair Collective: The Podcast | Recovering From Burnout with Kat Chan

Yellow Chair Collective: The Podcast | Kat Chan: Licensed Therapist Reactions to Pressure of Following Society’s Expectations