How to tell your boss when you’re feeling burned out
By Blog

If you are feeling burned and exhausted, be sure, you are not alone in this! 

A recent American survey related to U.S workers demonstrated that 34% of them are feeling burned out on their job today, compared to one year ago. The last two years have been really tough for all of us! 

After all these drastic changes in our personal and professional life due to the pandemic, the remote working, the endless working hours and meetings causing the disappearance of the limit between our professional and personal life …. Nowadays employees are feeling more burned out than ever.  

Burnout can have heavy impacts both on our physical and mental health. But it can also affect our career path. Its main signs can go from simple job malaise, bore-out to professional mistakes and absenteeism. 

Which is why psychologists and experts always advise people to go and frankly speak with their employer if they are feeling burned out. 

And even if the idea of speaking to your boss about this situation might be frightening for some of us, the risks of not taking any action toward the problem resolving might be really serious for both our career and health.

What experts say about burn out?

 Career coach Alyssa J.Mullett confirmed that if you share what you are going through with your employer they may be able to help you and give you good advice. 

Mullet says that: “it is highly likely that he will not only give you some tools and resources to get through this state, but he may be brave enough to share with you his/her own experience about job burn out.“

In order to support their staff, some caring bosses might choose to open up about their own experience and the lessons they learned from it. This action can not only reassure the employee who is already feeling exhausted and stressed, but it will also help him get some good advice from his boss which will strengthen their relationship and bring them closer together.

Interesting, isn’t it? Do you want to know how to lead this kind of conversation with your boss if you are feeling the burnout? Here is how you should proceed:

Five steps to open up about burn out to your boss

- Schedule a one-on-one meeting. 

Whether you will do it virtually or in person, this kind of conversation must be held in a private place far away from people and noises.

If you have the habit of meeting your boss individually during a one-to-one meeting each week you can bring up this topic during your meeting. 

If you don’t have this habit, you can ask your boss if they can schedule half an hour of their time for a one-to-one meeting with you. 

You can do this by calling them directly or sending them an email in which you will schedule a google meets date, and ask them to approve your invitation.

- Plan what you will say to your boss if you are feeling burned out

Aside from the meeting, you must properly think about what you’d like to say and what you want to get from this conversation. 

Vida Thomson, the career consultant says: you must understand why you are feeling burned out.

“Your boss can’t guess the reasons of your burn out, and you must not put the burden on her or him to figure out why you are feeling this way or what to do about it.”

To make this conversation impactful you must start by a better understanding of what’s going on inside of you. Which is why you need to spend some time reflecting on what’s going on in your life, both on a professional, mental and personal level. 

Questions you need to ask yourself 

Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself to better know it you are facing a burn out situation:

Do you easily lose track of your train of thought?

  • When in a conversation with a friend or family member, are you fully present and engaged with them?
  • Are you getting enough sleep each night?
  • Do you always feel exhausted, even if you got a good night’s sleep?
  • Do you no longer have time to engage in your favorite hobbies?
  • Do you always feel a knot in your stomach, tightness in your chest or a sore throat?
  • Do you forget to eat and opt for some quick unhealthy options to make up for it?
  • Are you feeling detached from life?
  • Are you dropping the ball on commitments?
  • Do you find yourself being short or rude with people?


Take some time to reflect on these questions, be real to yourself and analyze your actual situation.Enlist your answers and add some examples from your daily life in order to better learn about your actual state. 

 The career coach Vida Thompson says that:”there may be more than one reason for your burnout. Once you’ve identified the real problems you are facing, think about how you will communicate these issues to your boss. “Prepare your speech and get your ideas organized and clear.

Get specific with problems and solutions.

Don’t just state that you are burned out, confirm Mullett.Get ready to explain what is making you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Your employer needs to understand the real reasons behind this situation, so you must provide some clear ideas and answers. 

For example, you can say “five zoom meetings per one day are too much,” says Mullett, you can also share one aspect of the project that is really tiring you out or that is really heavy to handle. 

After exposing the problems don’t hesitate to offer solutions or useful suggestions that may help you get out of this situation, gain back your serenity and perform in a better way. 

For example, if you feel that your workload increased drastically during the last days, can you propose some suggestions on how this charge could be managed in a better way? Is there a way that processes could be done less intensively? Or a smarter way both for your own good and the business needs? 

Take advantage of your past experiences

If you have worked with certain methods or used some applications or specific tools that seemed to work fine for you during your previous experiences don’t hesitate to suggest them to your boss, he will be glad to help you if he can. 

Review your old materials or the processes that you used to work with during your previous experiences and define the best management practices, organizational hacks that used to help you keep a track of your workload without being exhausted.

By doing so and respecting these simple steps; you will be able by the end of your conversation to get some clear solution that will help you reduce your burnout, get back to your normal state and perform your job in more effective ways.

Finally, we can say that all of us might feel burned out at any step of our career. The most important thing is that we must acknowledge this situation, try to better understand what we are really going through in our life; identify the real source of the problem. Then find some solutions in order to move on. 

If you are feeling burned out, don’t hide it, deny it or keep going with it, acknowledge that, understand the reasons and give solutions while speaking up to your boss. 

Find out more about this subject: Tips To Overcome Burnout And Stay Motivated

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