Burnout is real. It has always been a real part of balancing life and work, but now that we have experienced a global pandemic, it feels more real than ever. With that in mind, what better way to kick off the 2021 Women in Banking Conference hosted by the Wisconsin Bankers Association than a deep dive into burnout via a special program, Burning at Both Ends, by Rachel Sheerin.
One of the key takeaways from this seminar was that burnout sneaks up undetected and overcomes and overwhelms in a way that is not always immediately apparent – until it is too late. That is why it is essential to identify burnout quickly, then move to manage it before it upends your ambitions and goals.
An excellent place to start is recognizing the three phases of burnout that Rachel has identified.
Unfiltered speaking takes over.
The first phase of burnout is when the truth starts slipping into the conversation in a way that can be rude.
Hold on for the ride.
Phase two of burnout is a wild ride via the emotional rollercoaster when little things you can typically take in stride get the better of you, like crying in the car over a Celine Dion song.
Give a dang gets busted.
The third and final straw in burnout is when people stop caring. Joy leaves our lives at this juncture.
“Burnout has nothing to do with being qualified,” Rachel said. “Burnout has nothing to do with being tough enough to handle the heat.”
How do we avoid burnout?
We need to set better expectations and boundaries.
Rachel pushed the group to put themselves first, at least some of the time. We must love ourselves before others can love us. That means giving ourselves grace when we make mistakes. That also means doing things for ourselves that bring us joy and happiness. If we are joyful and happy, those around us will naturally gravitate there as well.
The conference is structured around empowering women in banking (and beyond).
Women often carry the mental load of the home, the kids, the bills, the medical appointments, the dishes, laundry, and the list goes on. Often, this will translate to the workplace, and women feel as though they must do it all to keep others happy and cater to those around their orbit. Women consistently put the happiness of others before their own joy.
Ami Myrland, SVP Chief Financial Officer of Capitol Bank, attended the seminar and shared her reaction. “My biggest takeaway is that I need to continue to be intentional about my time,” Ami said.
“There will be things that I value too much to give up, like my morning workouts, as an example. My values will drive my choices, and I will spend more time with family and friends. I will continue to support my community through non-profit work. I will enjoy my time away to do my hobbies, like mountain biking, running, and golfing.”
“I will rock my role as CFO of Capitol Bank and continue to push the Bank’s strategy forward however I can. But no one thing mentioned above defines me. I am a combination of all these things, and the burnout will come if I do not purposefully balance them. And, if something stops bringing me joy, then I need to reevaluate and adjust accordingly.”
Lerdahl VP Laurie Richards added a note about the importance of speaking up “If you’re burnt out, raise your hand, engage your supervisor and talk about how you’re feeling. Stick with it to do whatever you need to do to effect meaningful change. At the end of the day, it is almost always in the best interest of you and your employer.”
Check back next week for more reactions from the continuation of the Women in Banking Conference. Have a great week, and do not forget to take a break!