WORK-LIFE BALANCE / OCT. 14, 2014
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How to Battle Burnout in the Banking Industry

In a recent EFinancialCareers.com article, Sarah Butcher wrote, “If one industry is known for burning its babies, it’s banking.” Ms. Butcher also mentioned that the banking industry hires elite students who then work on average 80 – 120 hours per week. Such a work schedule can quickly burn out any individual. Marv Dumon is a Business and Finance Consultant for the Examiner.com. In a recent article, he discussed the pressures that individuals in the banking industry experience and provided several suggestions to prevent burnout. This article will discuss Mr. Dumon’s advice and provide helpful information for individuals in the banking industry.

Look for Signs of Burnout  

According to Mr. Dumon, you may be a prime candidate for burnout “if you have an overbearing fear that leaving early exposes you as a target for the vice presidents and partners, and tend to disregard sources of stress as ‘passing inconveniences.” Burnout out is a serious issue and you need to pay attention to the warning signs. Staying late at the office, especially if you work at one of the bigger firms, may showcase your determination. However, it will likely cause you to experience the following signs of burnout as described by Mr. Dumon.

  • High stress levels
  • Mental and emotional fatigue
  • Intense feelings of frustration
  • Sense of inadequacy
  • Pessimistic perspective
  • Lethargic and apathetic feelings

Understand the Probable Negative Scenarios

Burnout issues can lead to probable negative situations in the workplace. Mr. Dumon has classified several types of scenarios as listed below. In order to more effectively handle burnout, you first need to understand the probable negative scenarios.

  • Short term of employment in this career track which could have otherwise been a productive vocation
  • Difficulty working as a healthy professional in a team environment due to irritability and demotivation
  • Cultivating mistrust amongst colleagues due to your unhealthy apathetic and cynical attitude exhibited in the workplace
  • Loss of relationships in both the professional and personal environments due to stress and constantly being overwhelmed with work
  • Deteriorating health issues due to the stress and depression associated with various symptoms of burnout

Preventive Measures Regarding Burnout

There are various steps that individuals can take in order to prevent burnout. Mr. Dumon has created a listing of 10 Powerful Steps to Avoid Burnout in the Banking Industry. A few of his suggestions are discussed below.

1.  Learn How to Delegate

If you hope to battle burnout, it is important for you to learn how to delegate tasks that are causing you stress and that you don’t actually need to do yourself. For example, Mr. Dumon suggests utilizing a concierge service to assist in everyday tasks. This may be included in your employment package. If not, hire a college student or a part-time personal assistant to handle these tasks and errands to free up your time and alleviate your stress.

2. Find Ways to Become Inspired

This step helps you deal with your feelings of apathy and cynicism. Mr. Dumon advises that you find ways to become inspired. Read inspirational stories online about people in your industry or others that you admire. When you are inspired, you can motivate yourself to get back to work and shake off the malaise. Taking quiet personal time is also another way to become inspired. Even finding 15 minutes of silence and alone time every day, will help you to regroup and refresh.

3. Plan Disciplined Breaks

Break time is vital to preventing burnout. Mr. Dumon advised that “every hour or so of good, fast-paced work, take a five-minute break.” For example, get coffee, go to the water cooler or focus on the inspiration tips from step # 2. In addition to temporary breaks each day, plan specific dates where you will go on a weekend retreat or vacation. According to Mr. Dumon, “you should also try to space out your vacation time, so that you can take approximately one week of vacation every three to five months.” Of course, this all depends on work levels during that period of time. He suggests that you have a “reserve week” in the event of emergencies.

4. Find a Trusted Confidant

It is vital that you find a trusted confidant with whom you can share your feelings. This person can be a sounding board for you to express your work concerns to and also receive constructive feedback from. Mr. Dumon advised that this confidant can provide you with an opportunity to engage in social activities that can take your focus off of “calculations and mind-numbing work details.”

Battling burnout in the banking industry first begins with understanding the signs of burnout and the possible negative scenarios. Hopefully the steps mentioned above can help to prevent burnout in the banking sector.

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