Tips for Resigning Because of Burnout

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 12, 2022

Published April 20, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Video: How To Prevent Burnout While Working Your Remote Job

In this video, Sinead shares five ways you can prevent burnout while working from home, from setting your schedule to creating time to recharge.

Having a job you enjoy and that fulfills you can help enrich your life. However, sometimes jobs can create significant stress and overwhelm. Burnout can affect employees in any industry and position and robs individuals of the enjoyment they once felt at work. In this article, we discuss what burnout is, ways to avoid it and tips for resigning because of burnout.

What is burnout?

Burnout is the feeling of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. At work, it occurs when you become overwhelmed by the expectations, schedule or environment in the workplace and feel depleted of energy. Unlike a temporary moment of stress because of a big presentation, burnout is a chronic condition that persists for weeks or months.

Common signs of burnout include:

  • Lack of motivation

  • Low self-confidence

  • Reduced productivity

  • Decreased engagement with your work and your coworkers

  • Heightened feelings of stress and anxiety

  • Exhaustion

  • Low energy levels

  • Insomnia

  • Increased sickness or physical symptoms

  • Negative mood

Several factors may contribute to burnout in employees, such as:

  • High workload

  • Long hours

  • Unfulfilling tasks

  • Strained relationships with managers or colleagues

  • Toxic work environment

  • Poor leadership

  • Few professional resources

  • Lack of control

  • Vague expectations

  • High energy expenditure

Read more: 16 Signs You May Be Burned Out

How can you avoid burnout?

Here are ways you can prevent burnout:

  • Monitor your feelings. Check in with yourself regularly to assess your mood, feelings and energy levels.

  • Discuss your role. Stay in communication with your manager about their expectations for your position. If you begin feeling like your job's duties are unrealistic, discuss this with your supervisor.

  • Take care of your health. Prioritize your physical and mental health. Exercise regularly, and find ways to reduce your stress levels, such as meditation, counseling or a hobby.

  • Request projects that you enjoy. Try to focus your work on assignments and tasks that you enjoy. You might request certain types of projects from your manager, like customer-facing projects.

  • Connect to the reasons you chose your profession. Remember why you chose your career path. Connect with the passion and motivation you had initially. For instance, a physician might remember the satisfaction of helping a patient heal.

  • Build relationships with peers. Having genuine relationships at work can provide a support system for you, helping you feel less isolated.

  • Create a workable schedule. Your schedule has to work with your lifestyle and personal obligations. Talk to your manager about the number of hours that you can manage without feeling overextended.

  • Think before agreeing. Before you take on new responsibilities, consider your current workload. Determine what time and energy requirements the new assignment will take, and decide if you can commit to them.

  • Consider your personal goals. In addition to your professional goals, you should factor in your personal goals when choosing a career path, accepting a position and taking on new responsibilities.

  • Create work/life balance. Make sure that you have time to relax, spend time with loved ones and take part in non-work-related activities that you enjoy.

Read more: Overcoming Burnout: The 5 Burnout Stages and Tips To Overcome Work-related Burnout

Resigning because of burnout

Here are some ways you can decide if resigning because of burnout is the right step for you and tips for making this decision:

Evaluate your situation

Before you resign, evaluate your professional and personal circumstances. Consider whether you are feeling burned out because of a particularly demanding season that is temporary or if your situation is unlikely to change.

Leaving your job can have a significant impact on your living situation, family and lifestyle. You should make sure you have enough resources to leave your job and meet your financial obligations.

Consider your options

Think about any modifications that might allow you to keep your current job, such as changing to part-time hours for a period or switching roles. You could also explore taking a sabbatical or extended leave of absence.

If you want to leave your job entirely, think about what you'd like to do next. You might consider:

  • Pursuing a new job in the same field

  • Going back to school

  • Changing careers

  • Taking time off

  • Pursuing a passion project, like writing a book or selling handmade jewelry

  • Retiring

Read more: What Is a Lateral Transfer and How Can It Benefit Your Career?

Ask for feedback

Discuss your decision with your loved ones, and ask for guidance from people you trust. They can offer insights into your situation and support that can help relieve your concerns and make you feel confident in your choice. If you decide to speak with a coworker, make sure they know the conversation should remain confidential.

Be honest

Schedule a time to talk to your manager about your feelings. Be open about your experience and concerns and gauge how your manager receives this information. They may offer recommendations that might provide some relief for your burnout. If your manager is not understanding, that can be a sign that it is time to move on.

Read more: How To Handle Employee Burnout as a Manager (With Tips)

Write a resignation letter

Once you officially decide to resign, write a formal resignation letter that informs your company of your decision. It's best practice to give at least two weeks' notice of your departure. Your resignation letter should also include the following elements:

  • Your name and title

  • Greeting

  • Statement of resignation

  • Your last day of work

  • Note of appreciation

  • Next steps

  • Closing

Your letter is a professional document and should be formal, well written and direct. You do not need to include details about why you are leaving, and you should avoid expressing complaints or negative opinions about the company. Stay neutral and clear.

Remain professional

Continue to act professionally as you navigate your decision. You may need to continue working for several weeks after you notify your manager that you're leaving. It's best to perform your best, maintain your professional relationships and avoid speaking negatively about your job or the company.

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