Marketing is changing quickly, and more is being demanded of its practitioners with every passing year. In addition to traditional advertising and brand responsibilities, digital marketing specialists are adopting new jobs from technology decision makers to digital gatekeepers to customer experience shepherds on a constant basis. The growing tide of work and demands without a corresponding growth in talent pools and headcount is creating a perfect storm for job burnout among marketers on a wide scale.
This is something we’ve been warning employers and marketing leaders about. However, not everyone has had the opportunity to see the trend coming and respond appropriately.
As a result, many marketing job agencies are noticing that marketers are becoming increasingly burned out. More responsibility and work are put on their shoulders, they’re putting in longer hours, their job environment has more pressure and expectations than ever. No good marketer is afraid of working hard or a stranger to putting in a little extra time every now and then; but constant, unending pressure and stress can have a number of detrimental effects:
- lower work quality
- more mistakes
- stress related health problems
- poor work-life balance
- less satisfaction and happiness
These are all things any digital marketing specialist would want to avoid, but as burnout creeps up many feel powerless to do anything about it. Fortunately, there are a few steps any marketer at any level can take to alleviate or avoid long-term burnout:
#1 Document Your Work
First of all, start a meticulous record of how much work you’re doing on a weekly basis: the raw number of hours, what projects you’re working on, what tasks you complete, etc.
Doing even more work to keep track of your work might sound like it’s just adding more fuel to the fire, but having an understanding and evidence of what’s truly causing your burnout will be an invaluable asset going forward. You’ll be able to identify places that could use improvement, note what tasks are eating up most of your time, and have an evolving piece of evidence you can present to your management as a basis for any cases or ideas you want to present.
#2 Communicate with Your Manager
It’s entirely possible that your management isn’t aware of the stress you’re under, especially if they’re kept very busy with a flood of their own work and responsibilities. If you are so affected by your work that it’s impacting your health, satisfaction and work quality, then they should be very receptive and cooperative in coming up with a solution (if not, then give extra consideration to #3).
This is where the work you did previously documenting your marketing work and production comes in handy. You can review with your marketing management to confirm priorities, identify opportunities to trim or your workload or delegate it elsewhere, discuss methods to improve workflows and even implement automation. You may also be able to arrange more flexibility with your schedule and negotiate work from home days, which can relieve the stress and costs of getting to and from work.
#3 Change Jobs with Marketing Job Agencies
Sometimes the simplest way to escape burnout is to simply go somewhere else. Making a career move is always an option, even if you really like your marketing job and the company you work for. This avenue is even more attractive when you’re getting mentally and physically worn down with no end in sight.
Career moves can be intimidating. Job searches are tough, and the application and interview processes come with their own stress. But if you ultimately end up in a position with better work-life balance, you’ll end up happier in the long run. For marketers in particular, new job openings tend to be in abundance, and you’re likely to find some options on your own or through marketing job agencies. If you’ve been keeping your skillset up-to-date, maintaining a strong network of professional contacts, and have a strong track record of success then you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities available to you.
However, do be wary of falling for a “greener grass” perspective. When you’re having a rough time, every other option starts looking like a better alternative even if they’re actually worse. Take care toheavily scrutinize and evaluate new opportunities to ensure that you’re not just jumping from the frying pan to the fire.
#4 Negotiate for Better Compensation
If you’re perpetually working hard enough that you’re in a consistent state of burnout and are still delivering considerable value to your employer, it’s reasonable to ask for additional compensation. After all, if you’re working longer and harder than was originally implied when you signed your work contract, it’s only reasonable that you should be considered for remuneration beyond what initially agreed upon as well.
A bigger paycheck or extra perks won’t wipe away the physical and mental exhaustion your burnout is causing. But some extra income or more cushy benefits can often certainly help soften the blow and make the silver lining a little brighter. Just make sure you’re able to articulate the additional value you’re driving, and have the evidence you need to back it up.
There are other, more general options available to you as well, from stress management techniques to time management training and more. Check out these guides for day-to-day steps you can take to manage burnout: