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Article – HBR: When Passion Leads to Burnout


Article – HBR: When Passion Leads to Burnout

‘Recently, The World Health Organization (WHO) included burnout in its International Classification of Diseases, IDC-11, claiming that it “refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context…a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed…” The WHO noted that the syndrome was characterised by three dimensions: 1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy.’
In this article Jennifer Moss shares how a job that we are passionate about, and which carries a strong sense of purpose for us, can be a double-edged sword. She notes that purpose-driven work carries a higher risk of burnout and how those working in caring professions are more likely to score two out of the the Mayo Clinic’s list of burnout risks related to this mindset: “You identify so strongly with work that you lack balance between your work life and your personal life” and/or “You work in a helping profession”.  At the time of the COVID19 pandemic, and as we move through the phrases related to this, is it time to step away from the ‘r’ word (resilience) and start supporting staff instead?

Topics: Self Care for individuals and teams, Leadership, Mental and Emotional Health, Teams

Time: 5 mins

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Jennifer Moss is a workplace expert, international public speaker, and award-winning author. She is the bestselling and award-winning author of Unlocking Happiness at Work. She is also a United Nations Global Happiness Council Committee Member.