By any measure, 2020 was a tough year for the average worker. Employees dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home, economic upheaval, and new burdens with childcare and technology—challenges that caused the majority of American workers (55 percent) to find professional success more difficult last year, according to a survey from business and how-to website The Manifest.
Burnout prevents success, affecting women more
Missed meetings, blown deadlines, falling behind on work, losing interest in advancement, and overall exhaustion are all signs of burnout and indicative of an employee who is mentally fried and unlikely to remain motivated and successful.
In the past year, 30 percent of employees have experienced lower motivation because of burnout. More women (37 percent) than men (28 percent) have experienced burnout in the past year.
Burnout Is increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts believe that the stressors that cause burnout are more likely to be experienced by women.
Nicole Arzt, a mental health content expert for Invigor Medical, says that normal guards against burnout, like getting enough rest and taking breaks throughout the day, are especially challenging during the pandemic.
Arzt notes that childcare, new work arrangements, and domestic responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of elderly parents are all more stressful during the pandemic.
Women are more likely to shoulder these responsibilities, resulting in increased burnout. Workers, especially professional women, must set clear boundaries and guard against taking on so many responsibilities that they become demotivated.
Longer hours, tech problems, and job losses compound professional success difficulties
Practicing career management can help alleviate other professional issues that are increasingly common in 2020.
As work from home increasingly blurs the line between work and personal lives, 17 percent of Americans report working longer hours.
Experts say that keeping working hours in check has been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ben Goodey, marketing lead at SentiSum, a chatbot company, attributes working longer hours to the challenges of working from his bedroom as he’s now always available, even outside of working hours.
Eleven percent of employees also struggled to adopt to new technologies, as work from home forced rapid technological reinvention, while 7 percent struggled with childcare as schools and daycare facilities closed or reinvented themselves. These outside stressors can impede professional success and development.
Promotions, pay raises, and job security are all traditional hallmarks of career success. Unfortunately, nearly 1 in 10 employees (9 percent) have had their pay reduced in the past year. A further 5 percent of people lost their job.
Managing a career means hoping for the best and planning for the worst. Even in the face of pay cuts or job losses, employees who follow strong career management principles can find fulfilling, rewarding work.