Feel your deeper motivations
We often get burned out from work that we are not really motivated for. So go do things that make you happy. That will give you energy again! This does not necessarily have to be in a paid job. You can use your period of illness or unemployment to try new things, as a volunteer or during an internship. Who in your area has a job that seems interesting to you? Ask if you can come and talk or walk along.
Questions for self-examination:
- What kind of work do you like to do?
- What did you like to do as a child?
- What values are important to you in work?
- What do you want to mean to others?
- What do you have to offer?
See your core qualities
That which we are naturally good at and which comes easily to us is precise with which we can be of value to others. We often don’t see that very well in ourselves. We take it for granted or fail to see how valuable our ability to sense is. So ask people you trust (friends, family, and former colleagues) what work they see you doing and what they think are your most important qualities or skills. This feedback can give you insight into the type of work you are perfect for.
Questions to ask friends, family, and former colleagues:
- What do you see as my three greatest talents?
- What is the talent that I most underestimate or undervalue myself?
- What can I do better than other people you know?
- How do you think I would do my best professionally?
- Why would you introduce me to other people in your network?
If you do work for which you are intrinsically motivated and where you can use your talents to the full, it gives you energy. This is important to keep it going for a long time. However, there is one more point to keep in mind after a burnout: be careful not to burn out again. Because you can also exhaust yourself by doing what makes you happy.
Burnout is a signal of imbalance. It is important to be aware of your tendency to go on and on. Often there is an idea of ’should’ underneath. Get used to taking breaks in time, to alternate effort with relaxation. Therefore, take a moment of reflection every day. Meditate, go for a walk in nature, do yoga or practice mindfulness.
These things help you to learn to feel: when is enough? What do I need now? It is especially important for highly sensitive people to keep to themselves. Another balance that you want to keep an eye on is your energy balance.
Exercise in energy
Make two lists.
- On list 1 you put the things that give you energy, in work and private time.
- List 2 includes things that cost energy.
Compare both lists. Is one longer than the other? Do you lose more energy on balance than you gain or do you have energy left over? How can you ensure more balance: what are you going to stop doing and what are you going to do more often?
If you know what you are good at and what gives you energy, you have a clearer picture of work that suits you and you can search for it more specifically.
If you actively search for other work and try out what makes you happy again, with taking time to rest and feeling how things are going, you will find work that really suits you. Good luck!