Lately, it feels like if you’re not working 80-hour weeks, you’re not working hard enough. The willingness to work long hours in the hopes of rapid career growth has a name, and it’s not spelled B-O-S-S. Chronic overachievers often rely on a “I can do it all” attitude to feel accomplished and secure in their jobs. But what this attitude doesn’t rely on is reality. When you try to do everything all the time, you’re mostly likely to only achieve one thing: burnout.
Burnout can lead to serious physical, mental, and social consequences but it doesn’t happen overnight. The Harvard Business Review aptly describes burnout as a slow fizzle—something that builds over time before imploding.
In particular, burnout is common among high-level executives, who typically reach their positions by being chronic achievers. There are cautionary tales from successful leaders that serve as a lesson in what not to do.
Despite how it presents itself, there are ways to avoid burnout and still grow in your job. Taking the time to learn from the experiences of other overachievers can help prevent the worst of burnout from taking ahold of your professional life.