Job Burnout Caused by ‘Mismatch’

Job Burnout Caused by ‘Mismatch’Job Burnout Caused by ‘Mismatch’

The old career-counseling advice about choosing a job that’s a good fit for you is getting support from a new study: Job burnout may be caused by a “mismatch” between an employee’s inner needs and the characteristics of his or her job, the study from Switzerland suggests.

Researchers defined burnout as a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, said Veronika Brandstatter, a professor of psychology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the lead author of the study published in the journal the Frontiers in Psychology, Live Science reported.

They found that it’s important for a person to have a match between his or her needs for two key aspects of the person’s job in order to prevent burnout.

One of the aspects is the amount of affiliation — or the level of closeness in the job’s social relationships — and the other is power, which means the ability the person has to influence and take on responsibility for other people.

A person who has a strong affiliation motive should have a job that offers this individual an opportunity to interact in a friendly manner with other people.

A person who has a strong power motive should have a job that offers this individual the opportunity to take center stage and be in a leadership role.

The study recruited 97 men and women aged 22 to 62 who were full-time employees.

Researchers found that when employees’ personal needs and their job characteristics didn’t match up, it acted as a hidden stressor. They characterized the stressor as “hidden” because the employee isn’t fully aware of it.

The study also found that when an individual has a strong inner need to be in a position that involves having power and influence at work, but winds up in a job that does not offer these responsibilities, the employee experienced more physical health complaints, such as headaches, stomach pain, dizziness or sore throats.