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The Life of a Burned Out Adviser Starring Michael Jennings The 2007 National Conference for Advisors of Peer Education Groups Denver, Colorado June 19,

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Presentation on theme: "The Life of a Burned Out Adviser Starring Michael Jennings The 2007 National Conference for Advisors of Peer Education Groups Denver, Colorado June 19,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Life of a Burned Out Adviser Starring Michael Jennings The 2007 National Conference for Advisors of Peer Education Groups Denver, Colorado June 19, 2007

2 Welcome and Introduction (and why you should listen to me)

3 Advising Students is a privilege that can and does really make a difference in their lives Erin Morrell Director of Campus Activities at Albertus Magnus College

4 Who is burned out? Who is stressed out? “A conversation between two advisors” Or just a way to incorporate my wife into this session

5 What is the difference? “In Terms of liquid” Stressed-Out vs. Burned-Out Stressed-OutBurnout

6 Characterized by overengagement Emotions are overreactive Produces urgency/hyperactivity Physical exhaustion Exhausts physical energy Leads to anxiety disorders Causes Disintegration Primary damage is physical Will Kill you Stressed-Out

7 Characterized by disengagement Emotions are blunted Produces helplessness and hopelessness Mental exhaustion Exhausts motivation, drive, ideals, hopes Leads to paranoia, detachment and depression Causes Demoralization Primary damage is emotional Won’t kill you but will make life not worth living Burnout

8 Defining Burnout

9 Burnout "Burnout is the gradual process by which a person, in response to prolonged stress and physical, mental and emotional strain, detaches from work and other meaningful relationships. The result is lowered productivity, cynicism, confusion...a feeling of being drained, having nothing more to give." Mark Gorkin, Author of The Stress Doctor “ Burnout is not the same as depressed, overworked or mentally broken down. It is a subtle process, in which somebody is gradually caught in a state of mental fatigue, completely empty and drained of all energy" (Volkskrant, 29 April 1989)

10 Dr. Maslach’s Three Dimimisions of Burnout

11 “Advisor Burnout Syndrome” ABS reduces your productivity, decreases your passion, limits the quality of the interaction with students and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly powerless, cynical, and resentful. As the stress escalates, you begin to lose interest and/or motivation in your roles and responsibilities. Based on Dr. Christina Maslach’s Definition of Burnout

12 How did I contract ABS? “My Story” “Advisor Burnout Syndrome” “Yes, I made it up, I think.”

13 Who is at risk? Helicopter Advisor Emotional Advisor Superhuman Advisor Friend Advisor First Time Advisor

14 What causes adviser “ABS”? Boredom/Lack of Responsibilities Too many Responsibilities Lack of Recognition Clueless colleagues/supervisor Ungrateful students/adminstration Passion Driven/Hard Lovers Underpaid Unappreciated Unrealistic Goals Conflict of connectivity

15 “ABS Symptoms” Procrastination Frustration and Powerlessness Having trouble making decisions Short-tempered, moodiness and irritability Low energy-tired all the time Loss of enthusiasm for work Detachment, Withdrawal, Isolation Being Trapped Cynicism

16 Protecting yourself against Advisor Burnout Syndrome Clarify your job description Understand your role Say “ No ” Schedule (Planning in advance) Setting clear boundaries and goals for yourself and students Take “ me ” time Co-advisor Find other outlets on campus Strive for Balance

17 More ABS Protection Trust their judgment (You are a paid consultant) Encourage member only events Confide in others/Build a support system Work the job; don ’ t let the job work you Employ personal strategies to avoid or cope with burnout Create a plan

18 What is the source of my burn-out?

19 Reevaluate Where I went Wrong Scheduled and Planned Better Work with other campus entities on specific events Trust my students more An amended Open Door Policy (Specific Hours) Not base my success as an advisor on how well the group did Accept Kudos even if it didn’t come from the “Big Guy or Gal” Build a better Advisor Networking System Believed in what I was doing as an Advisor I never said “NO” Spoke out more for myself not just the students Develop a plan

20 Outlining an Advisor Plan Create a mock schedule for the year/understanding it can change Basis of the relationships with students and co workers (boundaries and limits). Advertising, marketing and branding of the identity of the group Decide on how much personal and professional time you can invest Set realistic expectations and encourage respect. Balance and prioritize your responsibilities within the workplace Erin Morrell Advising Student Organizations

21 Outlining an Advisor Plan Provide effective training for new members/Leaders Establish goals and deadlines/ Hold them accountable Strive to understand their perspectives and make sure they know yours (Consultant Mentality)-Communication Help students manage multiple leadership roles/Trust leadership Find projects and events that motivate Strive to avoid burnout by reinventing yourself Create a reward system Erin Morrell Advising Student Organizations

22 Questions, comments and concerns

23 References Baptist Hospital East. (2007) Burnout in The Workplace. Retrieved April 23, 2007, from The Baptist Hospital East Website: URL: Gorkin, Mark. (2006) The Four Stages of Burnout. Retrieved May 24, 2007, from The Stress Doc Website: Harrison, Ian. (2007) Burnout: Identify & Avoid It. Retrieved April 19, 2007, from Ask Men Website: McGee-Cooper, Ann. (1990) You Don’t Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted!. New York: Bantam Books. Morrell, Erin. (2006, November/December) Advising Student Organizations. Campus Activites Programming, p. 22-25 Potter, Beverly. (1998) Overcoming Job Burnout: How to Renew Enthusiasm for Work. Berkeley: RONIN Publishing Segal, R. (2007) Burnout: Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention. Retrieved April 20, 2007, from The Help Guide Website: URL: Texas A&M Career Counseling. (2005) Burnout. Retrieved April 19, 2007, from The Texas A&M Career Center Website: Rfederici. (2007) Are you Experiencing Job Burnout? Retrieved April 20, 2007, from Nami County, Pennsylvania Website: URL:

24 Contact Information Michael Jennings 303.871.0901

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