Burnout is the theme of my 20+ year professional career. It was frustrating and disappointing because I always loved my job, but I reached burnout at some point.
On a brighter note, my burnout led me to breakthrough from moving industries to countries and reinventing my career in 4 years as Audit Manager, Amazon Author, Housewife, Business Consultant, International Speaker, Career and Life Coach, Mompreneur and Senior Auditor.
I want to share my burnout story because I want to explain the myths and realities of burnout from my own experience.
I want to help others who are experiencing or at the brink of burnout because I know there is 1 step that can help you avoid burnout forever.
3 Reasons for Burnout
After suffering from multiple burnouts in my 20+ years career, I learned that there are 3 Reasons for Burnout:
1. Too much work because our physical body needs to rest and relax every day.
I learned that you can love your job but experience burnout at some point.
I used to hustle and sleep less, thinking that staying late can help me accomplish more. This constant hustle led me to experience burnt-out at age 26 and 34.
Fast forward to today, I was able to accomplish more by doing less because I learned the power of sleep.
2. Lack of work because our emotional well-being needs to know that we matter. It needs to be convinced that my existence matters that “I am important”.
Leaving my 16+ year corporate career seems to be the best solution to my burnout in 2014 but this led me to stay- at- home depression at 37.
I was doing a lot of things at home, but I lost the meaning in what I am doing because I felt no accomplishment despite the demands of everyday life.
As a full- time housewife, my body was extremely exhausted doing house chores – cooking, cleaning, folding, ironing, washing, but my wallet, mind, and soul were empty.
I learned that burnout does not happen to employees only but also to those who are not employed because our identities are attached to the labels of our job.
Burnout did not happen to me only but also to my clients who are job seekers, frustrated and disappointed for not getting a job.
3. Lack of meaning because self-actualization is one of the highest human needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
I experienced this burnout when I was 22 and 40.
I just joined and rejoined corporate during this age and stage, but I did not find meaning in what I do.
At 22, I felt that tax auditing was not for me.
At 40, I felt I useless and helpless especially during the lockdown,
I learned that burnout does not happen for people who are in a job for a long time.
Burnout can happen at any stage, the moment you lose WHY, the meaning in what you do.
Training, coaching and writing helped me find the meaning of my life, and it sparked the joy within, especially when I was able to help others overcome their suffering and land a job.
My 20+ Year Burnout Roller-coaster Story
I always loved my job but there are days I had to drag myself to the office.
I used to hate the feeling but fast forward to today, I know that my burnout led me to my career breakthroughs.
At 22, I got tired and unhappy with my auditing job at Ernst & Young Manila. I wanted to work for another company and that led me to get a job at Intel Philippines.
At 26, I was managing individual and corporate taxation for Intel Philippines and its 5 companies. I was about to be relocated to Singapore for a regional role, but I declined the offer because I know that my young body cannot sustain the demands of the job. That burnout led me to land a job in another country and industry – airline auditor for Emirates Airlines in Dubai.
At 32, I was burnt out and tired of not getting my promotion. That led me to ask my boss “What do I need to do to be the next manager to be promoted”. This led me to get my manager promotion in 6 months. I was 17 out of 4,974 Filipinos in the management team of Emirates when I left in 2016.
At 34, at the peak of my career as Audit Manager, I experienced burnout and quarter-life crisis. So, at 36, I left my 16-year corporate career to be a full time housewife and mom to my 2 young kids.
At 37, I experienced stay at home depression. This led me to start a business that I love – Caltan Training and Consultancy.
At 39, I experienced burnout after an earthquake and an attempted robbery that happened on the same day in April 2018. This led me to rejoin corporate and move back to Dubai.
At 40, I was experiencing burnout because of the pandemic. It led me to start Working Moms Academy, an education platform and community for moms struggling with stress and burnout so working moms can succeed personally and professionally.
1 Step to Avoid Burnout Forever
I learned that there is 1 Step to Avoid Burnout – Acceptance.
Yes, ACCEPTANCE is the first step to breakthrough.
First, you need to accept your thoughts, feelings and emotions because suppression leads to depression.
Journaling is the best way to acknowledge your emotions because this slows down the brain from 300-1,000 thoughts to 80-100 thoughts per minute.
Second, you need to accept 100% responsibility for your life because when you do, you have the full power to rewrite and change your victim story.
When I decided to become the CEO of my life and stopped blaming my husband, my company and the economy, everything changed for me.
Journaling helped me write my beautiful story and make things happen.
Third, you need to accept that you cannot control any person or situation except your responses to them.
As Charles R. Swindoll “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. “
Stephen Covey calls this the circle of influence.
I learned that when you focus on the things you can control – YOURSELF, your thought, feelings and emotions, that is when things will move for you because nothing will change unless you do.
My burnout led me to breakthrough because I chose to respond positively to every situation I have been through.
I look forward to my story inspiring you today, share this article to those who need it today.
I know your burnout is a breakthrough that can give birth to a new you – Accept it and Act on it positively so that you can move from burnout and experience bliss.
I know that God has a purpose for your pain, blessings in your burdens and treasures in your trials.
Get a full copy of my Burnout to Bliss Presentation at Spendless Academy’s First Virtual Summit, the slides are saved on the link.