Read my career planning for doctors's blog
yThere are a number of ways in which burnout can damage a career. It is my belief that if people knew just how much burnout was damaging both them and their career and their relationships - they would tackle it immediately.
But because burnout is so slow to build up and therefore creeps up on people giving them lots of time to readjust to the new level of burnout - it becomes easier to ignore it.
Then after the burnout has become bad enough - there is no energy with which to tackle the career dissatisfaction and so a state of chronic or cyclical burnout pervades.
So what would I suggest? Without doubt - catching burnout in the early stages is far better than the late stages when damage limitation often has to come into it and career crises are more common. But by far the best is prevention.
Prevention of burnout is achieved by addressing all and every early levels of stress in a career and not merely accepting these as part and parcel of the job. Stress at unhealthy levels - that goes unrecognised or ignored - is the precursor to burnout.
Career change is always an option but for many it is not a career change that they need ( that desire is often a knee jerk reaction) but rather an objective and supported audit of what is stressing them and why and how this is progressing or can be stemmed.