Social Workers and other helping professionals have high rates of burn out. People in the field will talk about it without describing how to actually look for it. I’ve put together a 20-question self-quiz that professionals can take to evaluate themselves. While it is not scientific, it should give you a good feel for where you are and whether (and what) you need to change (this can be used to gauge burnout in other professions as well, though questions 2 and 18 should be altered or eliminated).
For a printable version of this, click here.
Are You At Risk of Burning Out?
A Self-Test for a Social Worker/Drug Counselor/Preventionist/School Counselor/Advocate
- Are 10% or more of your hours unpaid? (consider work from home, or emails & phone calls outside of your regular work day)
- Do you get weekly supervision of at least one hour per week?
- Do you have a self-care plan?
- Does it take more than 15 minutes for you to fall asleep at least 2x a week?
- Do you wake up in the middle of the night at least 2x a week?
- Do you sleep longer or shorter than you planned at least 2x a week?
- Do you wake up and feel like you haven’t had a restful sleep at least 2x a week?
- Do other people get credit for your work?
- Are you happy with your exercise routine?
- Does your work schedule or stress cause problems with your family (parents, significant other, kids) at least twice a month?
- Do you take an out-of-state vacation at least once a year?
- Do you feel like you have neglected friends?
- Do you feel like you have neglected hobbies?
- Are you in therapy at least 2x a month?
- Do you have conflicts (passive or aggressive) with co-workers at least 2x a month?
- Do office politics interfere with your job?
- Can you talk to someone about work stress other than your significant other?
- Have you had a client or student die within the last year?
- Do you know exactly what is expected of you at work?
- Does your job cause you to compromise any of your values?
+1 for yes: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20
-1 for yes: 2, 3, 9, 11, 14, 17, 19
-3 – -7: You have a very good work-life balance and are a model for others
-2 – 3: A worker with good mental health and decent job satisfaction will fall into this range
4 – 5: Your job is a minor problem. Make a few tweaks to increase your health and possibly productivity
6 – 8: Your job is a major problem. You should talk to your supervisor and therapist about making some major changes
9 – 13: You should consider leaving your job in order to get your sanity back