Are You Experiencing Job Burnout – Part I

Take Our Quiz to Find Out(Part One of a Two-Part Series)

A business woman sleeps at her desk.You have just survived a taxing tax season and find that you just don’t feel like yourself these days. Perhaps you’re lethargic or just can’t get excited about work like you used to. Are you experiencing burnout? Burnout is the result of physical, mental, and/or emotional exhaustion caused by your job. Generally it’s brought on by too much stress and anxiety. Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean you have quit your business. It’s perfectly understandable, and treatable. Take our 10-question quiz to see if you’re a little crisp around the edges.

1. Do you dread going to your office?

This is a telltale sign of burnout. If you find yourself avoiding your office, finding excuses to stay away, or bracing yourself for work that was once enjoyable, you need to consider what has changed. Tracing the burnout back through your symptoms and to the cause will help you better deal with the stressors that are making you feel overwhelmed.

2. Are you feeling unmotivated and depressed?

Often apathy and sadness are emotional signs that you’re struggling with burnout. Consider what, specifically, is making you feel this way. Diagnosing your ailment is only helpful when it enables you to pinpoint what’s causing it.

3. Are you suffering from physical ailments like backache, headache, insomnia, or high blood pressure?

Your body will respond to stressful situations to let you know they need to be addressed. Instead of masking the ailments with medication or chemical substances (see number seven) you should look to the root of the problem to see how it might be eliminated. Perhaps it’s the stress that has made you feel burned out.

4. Is your work suffering?

If you find it takes longer to do ordinary tasks and the quality of your work has declined, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed by your job and all that it entails.

5. Are you avoiding clients and other tax professionals?

When you’re experiencing job burnout, you develop an aversion for things you once enjoyed. Often that includes those that you work for or share common interests with.

6. Are you irritable?

Things that didn’t bother you much before suddenly become extremely frustrating. You may recognize that your temper has a shorter fuse and you’re taking your anger out on people that you care about, putting relationships at risk.

7. Have you turned to chemical substances for support?

Some people try to cope with burnout by turning to sleeping pills, caffeinated beverages, and cigarettes. This can lead to the abuse of harder substances like drugs and alcohol. If you find yourself turning to chemical substances for support, you need resolve this problem as soon as possible.

8. Do you find yourself consumed with anxiety about unfinished tasks?

Often those with burnout don’t leave the office even after they’ve turned out the light and shut the door. If you find yourself consumed with the stress and anxiety regarding your job and are distracted by work when alone with friends and family or when you should be sleeping, than chances are you’re burned out.

9. Have you lost the excitement and passion you once felt for your work?

You got into this business because it was something you enjoyed and could get excited about. If you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, you need to determine what has chased it away.

10. Do you live day-to-day rather than look with great anticipation towards the future?

When you’re consumed with the stress and anxiety of your job and have lost sight of your future, than you need to take a step back and ask yourself what’s causing you to feel that way.If you’ve answered “yes” to three of more of the above questions than you’re probably experiencing job burnout. Thankfully, diagnosing the problem is half the battle. Once you determine that you’re experiencing burnout you can find out exactly what stressors are causing you to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. This week consider what’s triggering your most difficult symptoms and join us next week when we discuss ways to overcome this common career ailment.

Are You Experiencing Job Burnout – Part II

Overcome Burnout by Reducing the Stressors That Cause It(Part Two of a Two-Part Series)

A business woman looks exhausted.Last week you took our quiz to determine whether or not you’re experiencing job burnout. We’re guessing you’re back because you are indeed burned out and are looking for ways to eliminate both the symptoms and their causes. We asked you to consider what’s been causing various symptoms, and we hope you took the time to determine which stressors are triggering the burnout. Here’s a breakdown of common stressors and ways to reduce them:

Working Too Hard, Too Long

Are some of your burnout symptoms caused by working long, hard hours? Not taking the time to relax and unwind can lead to job burnout rather quickly. You need to achieve a good balance between your business and your personal life. And we realize that many of you are working long after your day-job has finished. Take the time to evaluate your work schedule and see how you can ensure that you’re getting enough sleep and time to yourself. This may require setting some practical boundaries. One way you can achieve that is by vowing to work only within designated office hours. For example, you might decide that you won’t work after 9pm, and you don’t go to bed after 10pm. Or perhaps it means you reserve your weekends for yourself and your family. Whatever you decide, ensure you reduce this stressor before it leads to greater physical and emotional problems.

Feeling Stressed and Frustrated

Perhaps your feelings have more to do with your day-job than they do with your small business. Either way you need to determine which is causing the stress and frustration. If your full-time job is leaving you overwhelmed and unsatisfied, it might be time to consider starting your own accounting and/or tax practice. If your stress is caused by too much work in your business, again, it might be time to consider moving your part-time business full-time. If you’re not ready to expand your business, you may consider releasing a client or two in order to reduce the workload and stress you may be feeling as a result. Or you can hire an employee to help you manage the workload in your part-time business.If your stress is associated with another aspect of your business, focus on resolving that problem. Deal with that difficult client, look for ways to better manage finances, organize your office, practice effective time management; the important thing is that you reduce or eliminate the actual stressors. Otherwise, the anxiety seeps into every other aspect of your business.

Perceiving a Lack of Reward or Satisfaction

Again you must determine whether or not this is something you associate with your day job or your small business. If you’re feeling unrewarded or unsatisfied with your business, you need to determine why. Perhaps you could set specific goals and then reward yourself when you achieve them. Having your own business is no fun if you don’t take the time to enjoy some of the fringe benefits. And waiting for your clients to praise your work is no way to live. Learn to appreciate that a client’s continued use of your services is reward enough.

Suffering from Physical Ailments

Chances are if you reduce the above stressors you’ll find yourself feeling much better physically. But you still should visit a doctor to ensure that your physical ailments aren’t caused by something completely unrelated to your job. You may be surprised to find that a simple prescription can eliminate this burnout symptom.The important thing is that you address the burnout as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if you continue to ignore the symptoms and the stressors that cause them, you may ultimately find that your health, and consequently, your business are at risk. Take the time to take care of yourself today!

Get a Raise

Get Yourself That Much Needed Raise

A tax professional shakes hands with his clients.No matter age, experience, or occupation, most people are looking for a way to increase their bottom line. If you work in a 9 to 5 job, you try to get a raise to move to a position with a larget salary. If you own your own business, you try to increase the income your business is bringing in.

But how, exactly, do you go about increasing your income? You must encourage geometric growth within your own business. And what’s geometric growth? Linear Growth requires you to do even more work for the current clients, and while that’s great, linear growth slows doen over time. Geometric growth comes from many different angles: from existing clients, from new clients, from existing services and from newly added services.

Perform Existing Services For Existing Clients

If you own a cherry orchard as a business, you would sell as many cherries as possible to the customers you already have. Hopefully, this means that they would buy more than they are buying now.

As a tax preparer you want to prepare as many forms as possible for your current clients. This would also mean as you perform for them, they will see your talents, and (with the proper marketing placement of your additional services in finance) recognize the value of tax planning and ask for you to perform more services year-round.

As you do this and build your year round business, you will be able to not only gain the additional monthly income, but you will also be able, because of the services you’ve added, you’ll also be able to charge a bigger per month fee.

Perform Existing Services To New Clients

Following the cherry orchard example, the goal here is to find new customers for the cherries you are growing. This would be accomplished in using different business marketing strategies. The idea is to “sell more cherries” to the new customers.

This is the area which most think of when they look to grow their own business. This is the area that, done right, will provide the direct fuel to build your practice from a possible part-time effort to a full-time, burgeoning business.

Perform New Services For Existing Clients

Your cherry customers could have need for peaches, pears, apples and possibly many other contemporary products to the ones you already sell – maybe even canned cherries, cherry juices, pie crust and tins. Ideally, these new products can be produced by you as well. This provides additional sales through new angles.

Many of your existing clients could probably use general accounting services as well as your tax preparation services. Why let them go anywhere else? Imagine preparing financial statements, setting up you clients’ books, managing payroll for youe small business clients, and much more. Adding accounting and bookkeeping services to your menu enables you to become the one-stop financial shops for your current clients.

Perform New Services For New Clients

This means that you could also sell the peaches, pears and what not to new customers. As a tax preparer this means that you could then begin performing accounting and bookkeeping services for new clients as well as your current ones. Opening to you and your business a whole new world of profit centers and possibilities to capture the additional billable hours that make up the growth of your company.

A tax professional shakes hands with his clients.By growing your business geometrically you increase the methods of generating income. If you’re a freelance tax preparer this just might give you the opportunity to quit your day job and work as a professional accountant and tax preparer. Or this might mean that you increase the income you generate on the side. However, you run your business, the bottom line of this is that much needed raise.

UAC can help you add accounting and bookkeeping services to your services menu For over 25 years, Universal Accounting Center has helped people like you start their own accounting and tax practices. We recognize that 85% of the accounting opportunities are with small business so our curriculum is designed to help you learn small business accounting. Think back to our recommendation to increase your income by performing new services for new clients. When you learn small business accoutning you suddenly make yourself available to new clients whil increasing the number of services you can perform. Give yourself a raise and become a Professional Bookkeeper today.