Everyone feels frustrated and frazzled with their jobs from time to time. But burnout goes beyond the occasional bad day — or bad week.
“Burnout is a ‘silent condition’ induced by chronic stress that is characterized by emotional [or] physical exhaustion, cynicism and a lack of professional efficacy,” according to Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World.
Psychoanalyst Herbert J. Freudenberger coined the term “burnout” in 1974.1 He defined burnout as ”the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”
In his book, Freudenberger compared job burnout to a burned-out building.Footnotes:
- He also coauthored, with Geraldine Richelson, the first book on burnout, called Burn-Out: The High Cost of High Achievement. [↩]
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