i saw what you said about burnout in your field, and since i'm in library school right now i was wondering if you had any advice to combating burnout? or maybe how to get an escape plan?
Hopefully you’ll never need an escape plan, because you’ll love LIS and your job. But yes, burnout is a big problem because 1) we work with the public almost constantly and 2) we’re expected to do A LOT and often a very wide variety of tasks.
- USE YOUR VACATION DAYS. Public servants get a good amount of them for a reason. We need them. I always worked jobs where we had very few days or the company made it really hard to take days off, but it’s so important for librarians to take those days. Even if you don’t have a big trip planned, try to take off even just half a day every month. Take a long weekend every month if you like! Give yourself a break and some time away from work. Even better if you can plan them right after times you know will be stressful.
- Make time for the parts of your job you love. Programming and making displays are my favorites, so I try to set aside a good chunk of time to dedicate to these things. Sometimes I’ll spend a whole morning just crafting to test out ideas or make examples for programs and that helps me relax, but also get some joy out of my job.
- Hang out with your friends—in and outside of work! Getting along well with your coworkers does wonders, but it’s important to see people you don’t work with, too. Sometimes you just need to NOT talk about work for awhile.
- Stop checking your email at home. Seriously. Trust people to take care of things when you’re gone.
- Be mindful of how much you can handle. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, chances are you’re already doing too much. Do your best to balance the load or spread it out so the most stressful things don’t all happen at once.
- Say no. You don’t need to be on EVERY committee. Additionally, be willing to delegate things out and remember that just because something was your idea doesn’t mean you need to be the person to make it a reality. Sometimes you need to pass things off and that’s okay.