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3 Signs You're A Burnt Out Recruiter (And How to Win Yourself Back)

By Poyen Ramos on September 20, 2017

You've smiled your way through hundreds of interviews, found out your best candidate just took another job, and now you have to go through piles of resumes before you could go home.

Recruiting is a tough job and without a doubt, you'll eventually get super exhausted after a rough day — but if every day starts to feel rough, chances are, you might be close to burning out.

The clinical definition of burnout is “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that occurs when we feel overwhelmed by too many demands, too few resources, and too little recovery time.” Sounds like a perfect recipe for any recruiter.

However, the good news is once you feel the signs of burnout starting to rise, there are steps you can take to help you stop it.

1. Warning sign 1: Really small things start to irritate you.

The first sign of burnout is often a short fuse. Maybe every little thing about an applicant is rubbing you the wrong way. That recruiting manager’s requirements are way too much and you just don’t have the energy to politely set them straight. The Wifi is down once again and you feel like it's already the end of the world.

Every recruiter has to face some annoyances, but if you're feeling like you're at your at your wit's end, you might be burning out. Ignoring this would possibly revolve into angry outbursts and serious arguments both at home and at work.

Solution: Get some sleep, even if that means taking a 20-minute power nap under your desk.

 girl beach kid tired sleepy GIF

Sleep deprivation messes us your concentration, mood, and ability to cope with stress. So get some good shut-eye at home—at least 6 hours—or take short naps at the workplace. Taking naps at work may sound wrong, but studies have shown that power naps improve cognitive functioning, leading to greater productivity at work. It also says that napping elevates moods and even improve immune function.

2. Warning sign 2: You can't seem to concentrate on anything, and your productivity is dwindling

When you're overworked or stressed, your mind tends to wander off to nowhere land and makes it difficult for you to focus.

Have you been reading the same resume five times already? Or taking two hours to a task that usually takes only one?

Solution: Get more movement into your day.

If you have trouble concentrating, chances are you might be suffering from a "foggy brain" because too much sitting at work. One study found that a simple 20-minute walk can significantly improve your ability to concentrate. While another at Stanford University determined people were more creative when they were walking versus sitting. Did you know that former US President Obama takes walking meetings around The White House?

Take your lunch breaks seriously and incorporate a brain-replenishing walk outside your office building. Don’t think of a taking a walk as taking a break or slacking, but instead consider it a tool that will improve your productivity and bring more innovative ideas to your work.

3. Warning sign 3: You’re feeling compelled to overwork because you think it’s the only way to get everything done

Working at talent acquisition often means that you will find yourself working after hours or on weekends. You may not mind doing this if you're passionate about your work. But passion can be double-edged. At one hand, you may see yourself taking on the challenge, but on the other, you may become too driven that you can't even stop to smell the flowers or check to see that work has taken a toll on your health and well-being.

Solution: Give yourself a break. Overworking won't help you get things done.

Sometimes our reaction to finishing work is to work over-time, sometimes even during the weekends. We forget to take breaks or sacrifice vacation leaves for work. These habits are not healthy and will essentially make you more unhappy and stressed, which will lead you to the slippy slope to burnout.

Take vacation time to really disconnect from work, emails, and mobile devices that connect you to work. Being away from the thought of work will help you relax and give your mind that reboot it's long been waiting for. And when you come back from that weekend of relaxation, you'll have more clarity and some fresh perspective to help you be the productive beast that you're supposed to be.

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