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What happens when you burn out?
So what exactly happens when you burnout, I think it differs from person to person ...
One of my best friends, Faith is always joking about how since we became good friends he’s never known me to not have a job, coincidentally, he’s the one who makes most of the referrals that get me the jobs he’s talking about so imagine his shock when sometimes towards the end of last year I texted him to say I was as jobless as a jailbird.
What had happened was I had reached a point when I could no longer “can”, I was suffering a terrible case of burnout and every time I had to work on anything I felt so sad, unmotivated and mostly unhappy. At the time, I’d rather be sleeping than doing anything related to work. I knew I had to take a break if I didn’t want my mental health to deteriorate and so I quit where I was working. I still remember texting Ella(my manager at the time) one Monday morning after we had our weekly standup meeting to tell her I really needed to quit and honestly shoutout to her for being so understanding.
In the following days, I broke the news to my family members and friends, some were surprised, others asked me if I was sure I had enough money to survive without a steady source of income, some understood instantly but what was most important was that all their reactions came from a place of concern which I sincerely am grateful for. My mom, in particular, was really surprised and quite understandable as she’s from different times, she couldn’t exactly understand why and how I decided to quit my job when it wasn’t like I had another one in sight and so I had to explain to her in a way she could understand, I told her I had simply become unhappy with work and needed a break to figure things out.
My break ended up lasting till the end of the year, I took a total of 4 months off work and for 3 out of the 4 months I wasn’t even interested in applying for any roles.
As time went on, one thing became clear during my break, I wanted to improve myself in several different areas, I also knew that I wanted to switch paths from regular digital marketing to a more product-based role which for me meant Product Marketing Management and so I started actively upskilling during my break, I took a lot of new courses(finished some but left many others unfinished), did a lot of research and talked to a number of people in the field I wanted to switch to.
When I finally felt like I was ready for new challenges, I started applying for jobs again, what they don’t tell you is that Job seeking can also be mentally challenging(a story for another day), and while other people were having the time of their lives “dettying” their December, I was mostly writing cover letters, asking for recommendations and completing interview processes. I am happy all my hard work paid off because I resumed as a PMM at a Crypto startup. Also special shoutout to Enyata for gifting me a brand new MacBook, my productivity has been through the roof (I will write about winning a Mac from Enyata in another post).
Currently enjoying my new role; its wins and challenges one day at a time, it is certainly a very exciting time to be alive and I’m very hopeful that things can only get better from here.
So what exactly happens when you burnout, I think it differs from person to person but for me, I am usually very happy and bubbly and that reflects in the kind of work that I do and the effort I put into work as well and so when this no longer was my reality, I knew that trouble was lurking, I was generally unhappy with work, very unmotivated and just wanted to quit.
If you are currently suffering from burnout or even a mental block, I hope you read this and know that you are not alone, your situation is very peculiar to you but you’re not the first and also won’t be the last to experience this, I also hope this serves as motivation for you to actually take a step back, and a reminder to take a break if you need to, to breathe deeply and most importantly reassurance that you will beat this, and it will get better. Please don’t stop fighting for more as you deserve it all. I am personally rooting for you.