Summer ‘blahs’ or full-blown burnout? 25 questions to gauge your mental state

by Pat DiDomenico on July 25, 2014

Everybody feels their on-the-job motivation dip at times; but the blues can turn into a Level 10 job burnout if they’re combined with overwork and underappreciation.

The slower summertime days are a great time for people to sit back and take a full accounting of their worklife. To see if you are edging toward the crispy end of the burnout scale, print out the 25-question self-assessment below, created by Beverly Potter (Beating Job Burnout, Ronin Publishing, Berkeley, Calif.) You can also pass along the self-quiz to colleagues or managers who want to take their own temperature.

Read each of the following items and rate how often the symptom of burnout is true for you at work or away from work. Use a scale of 1 through 5, where 1 = rarely true and 5 = usually true. Then total up your score.

___ 1. I feel tired even when I’ve gotten adequate sleep.

___ 2. I am dissatisfied with my work.

___ 3. I feel sad for no apparent reason.

___ 4. I am forgetful.

___ 5. I am irritable and snap at people.

___ 6. I avoid people at work and in my private life.

___ 7. I have trouble sleeping because of worrying about work.

___ 8. I get sick more often than I used to.

___ 9. My attitude about work is “Why bother?”

___ 10. I often get into conflicts.

___ 11. My job performance is not up to par.

___ 12. I use alcohol or drugs to feel better.

___ 13. Communicating with others is a strain.

___ 14. I can’t concentrate on my work like I once could.

___ 15. I am easily bored with my work.

___ 16. I work hard but accomplish little.

___ 17. I feel frustrated with my work.

___ 18. I don’t like going to work.

___ 19. Social activities are draining.

___ 20. Sex is not worth the effort.

___ 21. I watch TV most of the time when not working.

___ 22. I don’t have much to look forward to in my work. 

___ 23. I worry about work during my off hours.

___ 24. Feelings about work interfere with my personal life.

___ 25. My work seems pointless.


25–50    You’re doing well.

51–75   You’re OK, but take preventive action.

76–100   You’re a candidate for burnout.

101–125   You’re burning out.


Category: HR Soapbox