If you are a young professional and burned out, the search for the right care is long and the treatment costly. The age of onset of burnout symptoms is shifting forward and the number of young people affected is growing. Why is this and, more importantly, what can these young professionals and their managers do about it to prevent too much work stress?

“A recent survey of some 2,000 young people showed that 75 percent are considering seeing a psychologist. Burned out while you are just beginning your adult life. That sounds like a contradiction, but for 100,000 Dutch people under 35 it is the nail-biting reality, CBS calculated.

The percentage of young people struggling with stress-related symptoms has never been higher.” In more than half of the absenteeism among young people, work stress plays an important role. For the youngest group of workers, up to 25 years of age, work stress is even the main cause of absenteeism in 2017. Especially the age group up to 30 appears to be especially vulnerable at this time.

Ambitious in the deep The labor market has changed substantially in recent years. Young people who find a job often start up through secondment, interim, agency, or short-term employment contracts. They are thus optimally stimulated to keep performing. Moreover, these young professionals are thrown into the deep end much faster and there is little guidance. On the one hand, this presents opportunities: they are allowed to grab a lot of space. But the downside is that they have to do this without a well-developed ability to keep balance. And while they are in great need of feedback.

Experience in practice At Panthion, the career agency, we also increasingly receive applications from young professionals who are on the verge of burnout or are already burnout. Many times they suffer from long-term fretting, loss of concentration, sleep problems, fatigue, irritability. The overview is gone and there is a reluctance to discuss this with the employer. A general practitioner particularly directs rest and relaxation, sometimes supplemented by medication. This is despite the fact that addressing the causative factors quickly is so important. In our pathways, we often deploy a combination of physical exercise, coaching, working on relaxation, time management, wellness and tools to start the conversation with the manager. This turns out to be an extremely effective approach in which absenteeism can often be shortened or prevented. Don’t think it will blow over on its own. Make a standstill, take the time to see what is causing it and move on to action.

What can executives contribute? Keep a close eye on your young employees. Especially the very assertive, hard-working young professionals who give the impression that they know what they are doing are a vulnerable group. Give that feedback that young employees so desperately need. Ask activating questions: how will you relax in the coming time? Give young employees a permanent supervisor within the organization. This benefits them, and it also makes the experienced employee feel more appreciated.

What if myself or one of my co-workers wants to know about this? If so, call us to schedule a free introductory meeting.

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