Talking About Burnout

Now that I am a few months into my job, I feel like I can answer the question, “how’s the job?” a little bit better.  This is a question that I have been getting a lot and especially from my family.  The honest answer is I am much more afraid about burning out.  Not that I didn’t think it was a risk, I am just realizing that it is a much greater risk and I am nervous about how to deal with it.

So I have been telling people – again, mostly my family – this response.  Now, the only thing that I am really looking for is some validation:  “Wow, that must be scary.”  “That sounds tough.” etc.  However, what I have been getting has been (mostly from my mother): “Well, what did you expect?” “You knew this going in.” “This is what you wanted.”  and “Yep, social workers burn out fast.”  Is this an indication of understanding that I can expect from the people around me???

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2 Responses to Talking About Burnout

  1. cb says:

    It depends a bit on the people around you. As for me, I get most of my moaning and sympathy from other social workers and colleagues – they find it much easier to understand…

  2. Reas says:

    Agreed. I tend to vent with other social workers as they’re in the same pile of muck as me. Your job IS hard, no question. I would suggest trying to stick to regular working hours (8 to 5) and cut back on those 10 hour days you talked about earlier. If that’s not possible, use your comp time. I’ve found a lot of those long days are self inflicted. =)

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