Practical Ways Sales Reps Can Prevent or Heal from Burnout
Sales is a challenging field that requires high levels of persistence. Because of the high demands placed on us by our profession, we have to take great care not to fall into one of the stealthiest occupational hazards in the workforce: burnout. Here are some ways reps can prevent or heal burnout after it's taken its toll.
Find a trusted mentor.
Besides instilling valuable wisdom that boosts your career effectiveness, a mentor can help you prevent the negative thought processes and work habits that lead to burnout. He or she can also be someone to talk to and confide in. Opening up and venting is an amazing treatment for healing if you’re already burning out.
Find a highly-experienced colleague at work, a trusted family friend or a knowledgeable person from your contacts. Although your mentor doesn’t have to be a sales guru, a fellow salesperson will relate and empathize with you better than anyone else. The most experienced mentors have “been there, done that.” Look for someone who can be a guide on your journey back to mental health.
Stop forfeiting your vacation time. Glassdoor revealed that on average, U.S. employees have only taken about half of their eligible vacation time in the past year. And it’s no secret that many high-performing sales reps avoid vacations. If you’re burning out, you’re probably one of them.
But now more than ever, you need to use your vacation time. Tell your management how important it is for you to disconnect for at least a week, or even two. Your future effectiveness as a sales rep depends on it.
Unplugging from the stressors in your life is one crucial step in your healing process. When you take your vacation, it’s crucial for you to actually unplug. It will feel strange to you, but accept no phone calls, read no emails and refrain from opening your work laptop. In fact, it’s best not to bring your laptop with you during your time off.
Whether you travel or stay home, you have one primary vacation goal: make yourself unavailable to the world. Yes, you’ll have an accumulated list of to-dos’ when you come back to work. But that’s ok. Don’t think about your first day back to the office. If you do your vacation right (i.e., unplug and heal) you’ll be better equipped to handle what awaits you back at work.
Meditate. Research has shown a link between meditation and mental health. Meditation can alleviate pain, anxiety, depression and other psychological stresses. If you’re not able to join a meditation class, start by taking advantage of a meditation app. Here are a few popular ones:
Find your passion. Passion is not a personality trait that certain people are just “born with.” Passion is what motivates you, inspires you and gets you out of bed in the morning.
Ask yourself: What would you do right here and right now if money or resources were not an issue? What would make you happy and fulfilled? If you had unlimited funds and no obstacles, where would you go? Who would you become? What would your life look like?
That’s your passion.
Whether it’s one day becoming an opera singer, a world-traveling photographer, an artist, a movie producer or founding your own charity, chase it. Start thinking of your current job as merely a catalyst for one day achieving your dream. The better you perform in your career, the more financial success you’ll earn – which will enable you to pour it back into the pursuit of your passion.
There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel.
If you’re experiencing burnout, it’s important to know that you will get through it. Things might seem hopeless at the moment, but you have the ability to emerge better and stronger than ever before.
Although you’re normally a high-achiever who’s devoted to your organization’s wellbeing, this is a time to focus on yourself and your own wellbeing. Self-care is often harder than caring for others, so you’ll need to be proactive and committed to your healing process.
Love yourself enough to take the necessary steps. Unplug, find a mentor and discover your passion. Before long, you’ll be yourself again.
Check out Part 1 of this blog series for how to diagnose burnout.
Check out Part 2 for how employers can help prevent burnout.