And, in addition …
Given that many young graduates started their college careers in the recession and have doubtless been hounded by data on the flagging job market (have you seen that, for the first time in history, more unemployed people have some college education than not?), it could actually be more than too-high expectations and too-little self care (though those are undoubtedly factors).
Rather, we believe that any burnout particular to young women stems (in addition to the usual culprits of unclear expectations, dysfunctional office dynamics, poor job fit and lack of control) from the fact that women have many expectations placed on them in addition to those set at the office.
Expert Carol Frohlinger, author of Her Seat at the Table and Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It agrees, saying women grapple with society’s expectations that they should be in a committed relationship, with their eyes on the prize, so to speak, of marriage and family. (And once they achieve those things? Then they have to deal with the “double shift” of work and motherhood.)
Eight steps to avoiding burnout
So, what can you do about all of this? While you likely won’t be able to get your boss to turn your 7-to-7 into a 9-to-5 or get your parents to stop asking when they can expect grandkid No. 1, you can prevent burnout.
1. Readjust your own expectations. If Faw was right, and you were expecting that your B.A. in English was going to turn into a staff writer position at The New York Times the day after graduation, it is time to readjust. Everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is generally at the bottom of the pack. Keep your head held high, and know that proving your competency at even the most menial tasks while maintaining a positive and professional attitude will help keep your career moving in the direction you want.