What do you do when your dedication to your job lands you in the hospital for severe exhaustion and dehydration? This is the wake-up call today’s guest, Jessica Grossmeier, got 10 years ago. Jessica was juggling a demanding job, getting her PhD, and being married, but eventually the sheer capacity was too much to sustain.
Podcast guest, Jessica Grossmeier, is a leading voice in workplace well-being, having dedicated her career to identifying evidence-based strategies that promote a thriving workforce. Jessica has published more than 80 articles in professional journals and is the author of Reimagining Workplace Well-being: Fostering a Culture of Purpose, Connection, and Transcendence.
In this episode, Jessica tells her story of burnout. She takes us back to the day 10 years ago when her husband found her at home unconscious on the floor. Jessica explains what led her to that point and how she slowly recovered from burnout. She also tells us why she took a year-long sabbatical and what came from it. Finally, she leaves us with what you can do if you find yourself suffering from burnout.
- Jessica’s signs of burnout were that she was cranky, disengaged from her job, and lost passion for what she was doing.
- It wasn’t until her accident that she felt like she had permission from her manager to take care of herself.
- Jessica knew she was overworked but there was no changing the job demands. She started creating boundaries for herself.
- She had to create a container of rest and recovery for herself, which allowed her to think more about the bigger issue and come with solutions. One of the solutions she created took 6-8 months to implement and she had to work hard to make the business case for it.
- The boundaries she set didn’t impact her role or hold her back. In fact, she got promoted after setting boundaries. She attributes that to the business case she made.
- Jessica’s recovery was a slow rebuilding of self-care and reflection. She had to set others’ expectations for what she could deliver and when. Jessica started examining her purpose and values. Getting back her passion for her job took some time. It required her to pause and reconnect to what she was so passionate about in the first place (i.e., what led to the burnout).
- She reflected on what energized or drained her. For the tasks that drained her, she asked herself – “could she train someone else to do it?”.
- Her sabbatical was a hard pause to reflect on what she really wants to be doing. The only question she brought into her sabbatical was – “what is it I want to do in the next 20-30 years of my career?”.
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Reimagining Workplace Well-Being: Fostering a Culture of Purpose, Connection, and Transcendence
Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH is the author of Reimagining Workplace Well-being: Fostering a Culture of Purpose, Connection, and Transcendence and is a leading voice in workplace well-being, having dedicated her career to identifying evidence-based strategies that promote a thriving workforce. This includes conducting collaborative research, advising, writing, and speaking on topics related to workplace well-being best practices, measurement and evaluation, strategic planning, and value demonstration. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and serves on several advisory boards devoted to helping employers create a workplace culture that fosters employee well-being.