Complete and utter job burnout.
It manifests itself in a variety of ways – a profound sense of cynicism at the office, struggling to drag yourself out of bed to start the day, constant inexplicable illnesses, never feeling satisfied with your level of productivity, or major beef with your co-workers.
If you suspect that you've been there, you're not alone.
A recent Time Magazine article shared that four out of five American workers experience burnout in their jobs. Even more troubling, 86% of millennials have admitted to feeling burned out at work.
I'd be lying if I said I haven't reached varying levels of job burnout a few times throughout the duration of my current job, and I am likely there again right now.
What causes work burnout exactly?
The Mayo Clinic cites several contributing factors:
Lack of control.
Unclear job expectations.
Dysfunctional workplace dynamics.
Poor job fit.
Extremes of activity.
Lack of social support.
It's easy to identify many of these as factors in my current situation and there was a time when it really scared me.
Not unlike many other burned out workers, I fantasized about quitting, taking a few months off to re-evalutate my path, and finding a healthier environment.
But I never really felt like that was an option.
Why? Because that's not what responsible young professionals do. Especially not in the entertainment business.
Plus, I didn't feel like I had the financial wherewithal to support myself during a multi-month re-charge.
I felt ashamed for spending years working long hours with very little to show for it. And the complete lack of control was terrifying.
It's what motived me to finally get my financial house in order, trim the fat from my monthly expenses, and start saving a significant portion of my earnings.
A healthy emergency fund of several months worth of expenses not only protects against an unexpected job loss, but also the need to quit from overwhelming job burnout.
Instead of feeling fear and added stress from job burnout, I now feel armed with options.
The option to carefully plot my next move.
The option to take a few months off and relax, if necessary.
The option to stay and know that it's 100% my choice.
Readers: Have you experienced job burnout? Were you financially prepared to handle it?