How to Recognize and Overcome Career Burnout, with Candyce Hunt

Listen On:

Career burnout is more common than you might suspect; approximately 76-90% of people report feeling some level of burnout in their job. And not all burnout is the same, says Find Your Dream Job guest Candyce Hunt. She shares her three-step strategy for addressing burnout, and how to head it off before it begins. Burnout doesn’t look the same for everyone, so Candyce shares some of the most common types and what might be causing them. Career burnout is not sustainable so learn how to recognize it and protect yourself from it. 

About Our Guest:

Candyce Hunt is a career strategist, a speaker, and a co-founder of the 5 Minute Career Hack

Resources in This Episode:

  • The 5 Minute Career Hack Podcast is a wonderful mix of interviews, inspiration, and actionable career development ideas. 
  • If you’re ready to address the entirety of your career life cycle, you’ll want to get your hands on the 5 Minute Career Hack Master Course. Learn more here!


Find Your Dream Job, Episode 448:

How to Recognize and Overcome Career Burnout, with Candyce Hunt

Airdate: May 1, 2024

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

Every Wednesday, I talk to a different expert about the tools you need to get the work you want.

Every job has good days and bad days.

But some jobs leave you exhausted every day.

What do you do if this happens to you?

Candyce Hunt is here to talk about how to recognize and overcome career burnout.

She’s a career strategist, a speaker, and a co-founder of the 5 Minute Career Hack.

It’s a podcast and a coaching company that helps you change your career and get the salary you want.

She joins us from Austin, Texas.

Well, let’s jump right into it, Candyce. What is career burnout? How do you define that?

Candyce Hunt:

This is one of the topics that, unfortunately, I get to talk about a lot but is not my favorite topic, but certainly relevant for the times that we are in now, but career burnout for us and how we define it when working with clients is, it’s a continuous state of chronic stress.

You’ve been stressed out for prolonged periods of time, and your body, your mental, your emotions go into an automatic shutdown because you are doing all of the wrong things or unsatisfied in your career.

Burnout is when your body saves itself. It stops itself; it stops you from doing things that are causing you anxiety, depression, fatigue. It stops you and puts you in preserve mode so that you can preserve life.

Mac Prichard:

You’re in a situation with a lot of stress, it’s prolonged, and your body starts shutting down. What are the signs that this is happening? What kind of symptoms do people experience when they enter career burnout?

Candyce Hunt:

Great question and the reason I like to talk about this is because, sometimes, people are experiencing these symptoms, and they ignore them, or they think something is wrong with them, or they just don’t know what to do next.

I’m going to name a few just to resonate with the audience.

Sometimes, you’re just feeling low energy, you’re not feeling motivated, you’re always fatigued. This is where, again, it’s about your body. Your body is going to tell you if you’re experiencing burnout.

If you’re experiencing prolonged headaches, muscle tension, increased feeling of frustration, trouble sleeping, if you find yourself sometimes abusing substances or overeating and worrying about work when you’re not at work, these are just some of the signs that you might be experiencing burnout, and I always love to talk about a time where I felt it after years of overworking.

I was sitting in my car, and all of a sudden, I just could not breathe. I was having a panic attack, and absolutely nothing was going on. In that moment, I thought something was wrong with me, but after talking to a therapist and reaching out to my community, I realized that I had years of built-up stress and burnout that was impacting the way that I was performing at home and the way that I was performing on my job.

Definitely there are far more signs, of course, but these are just some of the ones that we see most common that we should be on the lookout for.

Mac Prichard:

How often does career burnout happen in a career? Is it something that we can all expect to experience at some point, or does it really depend on our own circumstances?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, definitely. I think that’s yes, and. So, yes, it depends on your circumstances and the way that you are setting boundaries for yourself, both professionally and personally, but there are a lot of statistics out there, especially that have emerged since the pandemic started, and there was a Gallup survey where they found that 76 of employees experience burnout at least sometimes, and I’ve seen other variant statistics out there where it’s even upward of 90% depending on your profession.

So, yes, I believe that most people experience burnout. Some of us are just more educated on what we do when we experience it, or we are just more self-aware of listening to our bodies when we experience it, where we can interrupt it quickly, but again, it gets to that 90% when it’s ignored, and then it starts to negatively impact your work.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s talk about that for moment. If you don’t take action, how can career burnout affect both your performance at your job but also eventually on your career itself?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, so to answer this one, Mac, I want to touch on what those three pieces of burnout are.

There’s overload burnout, where you are continuing to work at a very unsustainable pace. You’re clocking long hours without mental breaks, not taking days off or extended days. I had that point in my career. I’m sure someone listening had that. But that overload burnout is the one where you are at work; you’re just doing all of the things and are sometimes focused on the wrong tasks.

Then there’s the under-challenged burnout, which some experience as well. That’s when you’re not being challenged at all, or not even being stimulated by your job. Then you’re not motivated, you’re bored, you’ve got eight hours to do your job, but you only really need four, and you just don’t feel like you are productive or have fulfillment.

Then the third one that I like to talk about is the neglect burnout and that is when you just don’t feel a sense of purpose, and you’re not engaged in your job; again, not feeling happy, doing that alone is just a bit difficult and you don’t feel like you are operating in your true passions and purpose.

Believe it or not, for many people, they experience this more often than not, where they just get to burnout because they don’t feel fulfilled and they’re operating in someone else’s purpose, someone else’s goals, someone else’s definition of what work is if that makes sense.

Mac Prichard:

It makes perfect sense, and I know that you’ve got a three-step process that you take your clients through, Candyce, to help them deal with career burnout, and the three steps; we’re going to walk through them one by one.

First is to avoid it altogether. Your second step is to manage it when it happens, and your third is to overcome it, and I want to take the listeners through each of those steps and how you recommend they take action.

Let’s talk about step number one; it’s to avoid career burnout altogether. How do you do this, Candyce?

Candyce Hunt:

Yes, and, again, the statistic is so high, Mac. 76% to 90% of people experiencing burnout. The point of avoidance, we’re close to it being a moot point, but if you think about different generations in the workplace, my biggest piece of advice here, and it’s around emotional intelligence, is be self-aware.

Be self-aware, listen to your body. When you are experiencing some of those signs that I was talking about earlier, you have to listen to your body and respond. Avoiding burnout, for me, is just making sure that you are self-aware, that you acknowledge it when things are happening, when you start experiencing those signs of burnout, and just making sure that you are partnering with someone, that you are reaching out to your community when you start to experience those signs.

Mac Prichard:

You’re paying attention to those signs – you’ve got the emotional intelligence to do that – you’re reaching out to someone in your community. What are you asking for? What action steps are you taking, and do you recommend, Candyce, for avoiding burnout altogether on a day-to-day basis?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, and this one, too, Mac, great question; it’s just around your values, and so, as I talked about the overload and the neglect burnout and the under-challenged burnout, we find that most people are experiencing this because they’re not doing work that’s aligned with their true values and purpose. So, there’s a values exercise that anybody who’s experiencing burnout, when they come to us, that’s where I’m going to start.

I’m going to start with their self-awareness and then what are your values and having them walk through an exercise where they narrow it down to their three values and now we’re going to look at their day-in and day-out activities in their personal and professional life to understand, is the work that they’re doing aligned with their values.

When it’s not, that’s when they start to experience some of that overload, they experience that neglect, as well as that third burnout that I talked about, being under-challenged. That has physiological effects on the way that you move and the way that you do work.

Mac Prichard:

Terrific. I want to dig into a little bit more about that and what you should do if your job isn’t aligned with the job that you have today, but let’s take a break, Candyce.

So stay with us; when we come back, Candyce Hunt will continue to share her advice on how to recognize and overcome career burnout.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio. I’m talking with Candyce Hunt.

She’s a career strategist, a speaker, and a co-founder of the 5 Minute Career Hack.

It’s a podcast and a coaching company that helps you change your career and get the salary you want.

She joins us from Austin, Texas.

Now, Candyce, before the break, we were talking about how to recognize and overcome career burnout, and we were walking through a three-step process you use for people who are experiencing career burnout.

At the end of the first segment, you talked about the importance of recognizing your values and making sure that the work you’re doing aligns with your values.

Candyce, what do you do if you go through that exercise and you discover that the job that you have today doesn’t match up with your values?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, absolutely.

The first thing that you definitely want to do, and I talked about community, but that’s when you want to partner with either a life coach or a career coach, like “5 Minute Career Hack,” so that we can explore ways that we can get you back in alignment. And so again, that’s where that values exercise is so important because then, once we understand what your values are, then let’s match that up with jobs or career paths that are going to align with that.

It’s not, Mac, a, “Hey, let’s quit your job now.” But let’s create a strategy; let’s create a strategy that is going to get you back in alignment and still be in tune with all dimensions, with where you stand in all dimensions of well-being.

We want to create a strategy that is going to consider your physical health, create a strategy that considers your emotional intelligence, your mental health, and also that includes your financial health because we want to make sure that anybody who walks away from the 5 Minute Career Hack, we want to make sure that your values, as well as the work that we’re pushing you towards, that that’s going to align with your financial stability as well.

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s talk about the second of your three-step process for managing career burnout when it happens.

You use an acronym here, Candyce, REST, r-e-s-t, for managing career burnout. Let’s walk through that.

The R in REST stands for Restore. What do you have in mind here?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, so definitely, Mac, I like this acronym, and the reason that I use it is because when I experienced burnout, my therapist’s first statement to me was, “You just need to rest.” And I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but as I went through the journey of healing and overcoming burnout, I understood it deeper, and it kind of birthed this acronym.

Restore is just simply taking a pause, evaluating your relationship with stress, do you naturally go into fight or flight mode, understanding how you respond, and then just take a breather, so that you can be better prepared the next time your body is telling you that you’re experiencing burnout.

It’s taking a break, taking the vacation, check your PTO to see if you have additional time that you can take to see if your body, either getting more sleep or just giving your body a chance to have rest. The art of doing nothing is what I like to call it.

The art of doing nothing, so you can give your body a chance to restore.

Mac Prichard:

The E in your REST acronym stands for Energize.

How can you energize yourself to avoid career burnout, Candyce?

Candyce Hunt:

Yes, so I believe that energy is based off of what you consume.

We consume things by what we hear, by what we see, what we taste, and eat, and even what you smell, as well. For me, what I advise people on their energy and what they’re consuming, I’m having them pay attention to things like, what does your social media consumption look like? Do you have a boundary set around the way you consume social media? What are you eating? Are you eating foods that are very low in complex carbs and are causing your energy level to go down? Or drinking drinks that are causing your energy level to go down?

Then also, what are you feeding your mind? Are you taking time to be in meditation? Are you listening to the right podcasts, i.e., Mac’s podcast, Find Your Dream Job, or 5 Minute Career Hack? Or are you watching Netflix all the time?

I think that mindfulness is important, but we also have to make sure that what we hear is feeding our minds with things that are going to motivate us and give us energy versus things that are going to make us feel more depressed and make us feel more anxious.

Mac Prichard:

The S in REST, your acronym for managing career burnout, represents Sleep, and you touched on sleep a moment ago, but how should you manage your sleep, Candyce, to avoid career burnout?

Candyce Hunt:

Absolutely, and I say this simply if you go and listen to Episode 38 of our 5 Minute Career Hack Podcast, I touched on this one slowly because it probably needs to be a separate one, but I say that you need 7-9 hours of rest each night to live a healthy and productive life. End of sentence.

If you find yourself saying, “Oh, I just three to four to five.” “I’m a six-hour sleeper, and I do well.” Each night that you are depriving yourself of the adequate rest, there is no way to go back and make that up, and you’re actually taking time off of your life and moving closer to burnout.

The simple answer here, Mac, is 7-9 hours of rest every single night, in order for you to live a healthy and productive life.

Mac Prichard:

The last letter in your four-part acronym, REST, is T; it stands for time management. What’s the best way to handle your time to avoid career burnout?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, absolutely, and so for this one, and this is just about prioritizing yourself. I don’t actually even call it “time management” anymore. I call it time leadership because we want to be the leaders of our time, and with that, we have to unapologetically prioritize ourselves.

When I was in corporate America, one thing that I would encourage my team to do was plot yourself on the calendar first. What does your family time look like? Mac, I even put my sleep on my calendar. What self-care routines do I have? Doctor’s appointments, put your daily breaks on your calendar. If you do any sort of reflection or gratitude, put that on your calendar.

This is the one that I think surprises people when I say it, even plot deliberate time on your calendar to do absolutely nothing. The reason why that’s so important is that your brain needs time to recalibrate. It needs time to slow down so that when it’s time to ramp back up, you are not burnt out or overloaded, and not able to even carry out the tasks that are on your priority list.

I think that it starts with us and how we lead our time and lead ourselves that is the catalyst to burnout, I believe.

Mac Prichard:

Again, your three-part process to overcoming career burnout –

Step one is to avoid it, step two is manage it, and the third is to overcome it. Let’s talk quickly about that third part, Candyce.

How do you overcome career burnout if you’ve been unsuccessful in avoiding and managing it and it’s not going away?

Candyce Hunt:

Yes, and I was asked this question recently on a podcast that I was on. It was an interesting answer that I think surprised people, and I shared this from testimony of when I was experiencing burnout.

I got a life coach, and I had a therapist. My life coach was saying, “I need you to go and work out for thirty minutes every day.” And then my therapist was saying, “I need you to get 7-9 hours of sleep.”

And so, as I explained what the definition of burnout was, it is when your body goes into automatic shutdown mode, so we have to respond to burnout by speaking our body’s language.

Moving your body and getting rest, that is the way that you respond to what your body is telling you.

Now, there are other things like making sure that you’re meditating, doing deep breathing, creative expression, physical connection, physical touch, talking to other people who you love for at least thirty minutes a day; those are other things that you can do, but, again, the best way is to just respond to your body in its own language by moving it, restoring it with rest, and rinse and repeat.

Mac Prichard:

We talked about this earlier in the show, but when do you know it’s time to quit your job? I mean, you do all these things, including exercise, but what if you’re still experiencing burnout? When is it time to move on to the next position?

Candyce Hunt:

Yeah, so for me on this one, because burnout is chronic stress, so that’s when you’re in a state of stress over and over again, and you’re not able to release it or improve your relationship with stress.

If you’re on that job and you’re doing all of the things that we are recommending, and you still can’t find that sense of purpose, you still notice that your values aren’t aligned, and you get to that place where it’s just like, “I’m just still not feeling fulfilled, and my body is still tired.”

Then, we’ve already created a strategy for you or alongside you that helps you to decide, “Okay, it’s time to move on.” But my caution is not moving on without that strategy, and maybe sometimes the strategy is to, if you’re financially stable or you just have to take a pause, that strategy is to take that pause.

Do you need to take a leave of absence before you get ready to quit your job? We want to make sure that you’re doing the things that are going to satisfy your well-being but also not put you in a state of, “I might not make it through life if I remain in this state of burnout.”

But if you stay in that chronic state of stress, and your job is continuing not to fulfill you, then it’s time to move on.

Mac Prichard:

Well, it’s been a great conversation, Candyce.

Now, tell us, what’s next for you?

Candyce Hunt:

Yes, so we have a lot of exciting things going on at 5 Minute Career Hack. Actually, I want to just push people and encourage them toward our “5 Minute Career Hack Master Course.”

We created a 15+ module course that walks you through the entire life cycle of employment, from the moment that you create that resume, do that interview, salary negotiation, checking your emotional intelligence, and even if you get to a place of burnout and you’re trying to figure out what that exit strategy is, we have a module inside this course that helps you know when it’s time to start creating the exit strategy and how you actually negotiate that severance package.

That course is available on our website at $97, and we want to make sure that we give you all of the tools to manage all the life cycle of your employment.

Mac Prichard:


We’ll be sure to include a link to your website, The 5 Minute Career Hack, and also to your podcast with the same title. I know that you also encourage listeners to connect with you on LinkedIn, Candyce, and when they do reach out to you, I hope they’ll mention that they heard you on Find Your Dream Job.

Now, given all the great advice you’ve shared today, what’s the one thing you want a listener to remember about how to recognize and overcome career burnout?

Candyce Hunt:

Yes, so I’m going to give two points, and it’s a repeat, but I think it’s so important for me to share because people listening sometimes either, again, feel like something is wrong with them when they experience burnout.

The first one is, listen to your body. Listen to your body.

The second thing I want to leave with others is if you are experiencing burnout or if those signs come into fruition in your day-to-day life, nothing is wrong with you. I shared the statistic earlier, about 76% to 90% of people experience this. That’s the majority.

Nothing is wrong with you. You don’t have to feel ashamed, and you don’t have to feel like you’re failing at life. This is, unfortunately, a normal thing, and there are resources and tools, and community out here for you to help you to overcome burnout and to teach you to listen to and respond to what your body is telling you about your day-to-day activities.

Mac Prichard:

Make sure you never miss an episode of Find Your Dream Job.

Subscribe to our free podcast newsletter.

You’ll get information about our guests and transcripts of every show.

Go to

Again, that’s

Next week, our guest will be Melanie Damm.

She’s a recruitment consultant at the Equitable Hiring Group. Her company helps nonprofits, and impact-driven companies hire.

Sometimes, you have to take a paycheck job in order to pay your bills.

But over the course of a career, you will also want to do work that has meaning.

Join us next Wednesday when Melanie Damm and I talk about how to find a job that matters to you.

Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

This show is produced by Mac’s List.

Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests and writes our newsletter. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson manages our social media.

Our sound engineer is Matt Fiorillo. Ryan Morrison at Podfly Productions edits the show. Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.

This is Mac Prichard. See you next week.