Community development is a career that involves a great deal of stress and frustration. Oftentimes it can feel overwhelming to be working to help guide a community. This can make development particularly at-risk careers for burnout – fatigue, depersonalization, and dissatisfaction that stems from long-term job-stress. In this industry, you might have to wear a lot of different hats to be effective and keep everyone happy. To promote a better outcome for yourself and those around you, keep these tips in mind – they are excellent ways to help combat burnout.
Because of the nature of community development professionals – a nature that tends towards kindness and prioritizing others – it’s not uncommon to see these professionals working well beyond their typical business hours. But this lack of boundary can cause feelings that your work is taking over your life. Even telling yourself that you’ll just “be on call” can eat away at your de-stressing time. Just let it be until tomorrow, and be firm with your time away from work.
Build Your Own Community
While working in the community itself can build a network of people that you can rely upon, you might not be able to get the same support that you would from people in your field. It can be hard to relate with people who are in more traditional careers, and it’s important to find a community development network that can support you through the good times and the bad. Getting advice and tips is a great bonus
Find a Structure and Routine
Community development is a career that often leads us to be in constant motion. You rarely have the opportunity to sit down and have a routine, but this is a very important part of avoiding burnout. If you lack structure and routine, you can find yourself feeling lost, or that your work doesn’t have the effect you thought it did. Building a small set of time each day for something consistent and clearly effective can do wonders for your mental and physical health.