17 obvious signs you’re unhappy and burnt out at work

When work has more downs then ups, the problem might be bigger than you think. (Shutterstock)

Do you really need some time off or a new job or are you just being unnecessary?

If you’re mature enough to realise that life is filled with troughs and peaks and that no bad or good situation is permanent, you’re one of the lucky ones since many lose themselves in the current state of affairs. Prolonged periods of being in a funk could be an indication that you're unhappy at work because your work-life balance is not so balanced.

Let’s say, to emphasise this point, your current job regularly sucks and you'd like it to unsuck. But you’re unsure whether you’re imagining that your job actually sucks when, compared to other jobs, your job might really be awesome - in other words, the grass might not be greener on the other side. But that's the number one rationale for why people always stay at jobs they hate.

So, how do you know whether you’re in a trough (burnt out and unhappy and really need to leave for your own sanity) at work or if you're unnecessary and ungrateful? Well, get out if this is how you feel:

1. You can never see your loved ones. It’s the walls of your office, the faces of your colleagues, your bed, and that's it. No friends, no family, just overtime all the time.

2. You’re jealous of your friend’s accounting, legal, or office job. Somehow, anything and everything just sounds better than your own career.

3. Sunday nights are sad. Mondays are the worst. Fridays are awesome, except when they also almost suck because you know the weekend ends way too soon.

Find a job in Finance here

4. Your co-workers have started acting a little uncomfortable or hesitant around you. You're not sure why but they've been a little stand-offish.

5. Everyone constantly asks how you're feeling. Your body language and facial expressions are more transparent and your feelings becoming harder and harder to hide. People seem to be concerned about you.

6. You can’t stand any of your co-workers. They're annoying: too perky, too stiff, too loud, too quiet, too serious, too jokey, just a little too everything for you to handle.

7. Your boss infuriates you on a daily basis. He is unnecessary, micromanages, is a bully, is incompetent or refuses show even an ounce of appreciation.

8. You feel like you aren’t going anywhere. Every week has been the same for the last 3 years. No promotions, no changes in duty, no career prospects or special opportunities. Nada.

9. You have lost your passion. Perhaps you once had some but now it has magically and frustratingly disappeared. (Probably because you feel like you aren't going anywhere.)

10. Your opinion isn’t asked, your skills aren’t needed, and your voice is always silenced. You’re looking for challenges but any attempt at grabbing opportunities is futile.

11. You simply aren’t getting the salary you need, deserve, want, or expect.

12. You cannot get out of bed. Not because you’re lazy but because you’re exhausted, tired, listless, anxious and consistently filled with complete dread.

13. You’re bored. You feel like playing Solitaire at work would be more stimulating than your completing your current KPIs.

14. You have no energy. You can’t focus. And you are always sick.

15. You feel like a Negative Nancy, Complaining Cathy, and Ursula the Unfulfilled whenever others (including family and colleagues) ask about your job.

16. You hit the snooze button on your alarm so often, you’ve started to Google more More Effective Alarms.


17. You start treating co-workers or customers with disregard. Your vocabulary consists of these phrases: Don't care, No way, That's not my job, Why should I? What time's lunch? Bye Felicia!

Browse jobs at top South African companies

It often requires drastic and uncomfortable actions to escape the depths of trenches. But that climb isn’t easy, which is probably why so many of us doubt or are in denial about being stuck in a rut of unhappiness and exhaustion and therefore (sometimes subconsciously) choose to procrastinate inevitably. The fear of falling into a deeper trough instead of being able to climb out towards the peak is quite paralysing.

Fight your fear by applying for new jobs.

Articles you may be interested in too:

What happy people know about achieving job satisfaction

5 signs you're about to burn out (and 3 ways to counter its negative effects)

The dangers of working no one tells you about

If you can relate to these 8 feelings, you're overworked