Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Burned Out?

There comes a point in time where almost every resume writer experiences a burnout feeling. Sometimes the mere thought of one more client project is enough to want to send you back to bed — and, at times, you may find yourself putting your work on the back burner. This can have a terribly negative impact on your business, your income, and your client experience.

What can you do when you feel you can no longer deal with your clients, and you can't stand the thought of one more project?

Here are some survival techniques that should help you get through this temporary burnout phase. Determine the underlying cause of your burnout. Here are some common ones:
  • Could it be that you are doing the wrong type of work? (If you hate the marketing and sales part of being a resume writer, have you considered being a subcontract writer? On the other hand, if you love selling the client but hate doing the actual writing, maybe it's time to bring on a subcontract writer.) 
  • Should you be focusing on another niche instead of what you are doing? If you like the work, but don't like the kinds of clients you're writing for, maybe specializing in a specific niche would be a good idea.
  • Too much work and not enough play — this certainly makes for a dull life. You need to be doing more than sitting at the computer 24/7. Give yourself frequent breaks and set hours for your business. Don't become a slave to your work. When you set a schedule for yourself, try to manage your time appropriately so you can take time off on weekends and/or holidays. You need this time to rejuvenate and regroup. Time off should be family time, fun time and be spent doing something you want to do. (Only you can decide how many clients is the right number of clients for you. For some resume writers, 1 client a day is enough. For others, 3-4 a day isn't too much.)
  • Being buried in projects can only add to this burnout phase you are going through. If necessary, you may consider outsourcing some of your work to a trusted colleague. This will definitely help you catch up and maintain your ability to meet client deadlines. You don't have to bring on a subcontract writer permanently! Just post a request for help on one of the E-Lists (NRWA, CDI) and get caught up.
  • Let your creative juices flow. If you are bored doing the same old thing day in and day out, then it's time to do something new. Put your creativity to use and find something fun to do that will help your business. This could be something as simple as learning a new skill, software program, or possibly making a video for your blog or website. Anything that will help break the monotony of a typical day can help you survive a burnout.
  • Take a well-deserved and much-needed vacation. That's pretty much self-explanatory. A vacation needs to be free from responsibilities of the job. But make sure you're not just escaping from your "issues" (because those will still be there when you come back!). A vacation can be a good idea to think about some longer-term strategies for yourself and your resume writing business. Speaking of which....
  • Take a good look at where you are and where you want to be. It might be that you need to make some changes to the type of work you are doing and what you are offering to clients. If every project is something you dread and dislike doing, it's certain you will be facing a burnout more often than necessary. Do you need to change your pricing, so you're making the same amount (or more) while working with fewer clients? 

Don't beat your head against a wall when you feel the burnout syndrome coming on. It is bound to happen to everyone at some point in their career. Once you find the source of your burnout, it's important to do something about it. Don't ignore it, or that feeling will certainly return. Find the source and take control. You'll be glad you did!

One way to feel more confidence and control in your business is to engage in business planning and goal setting. Check out this month's Special Report for Bronze members on BeAResumeWriter.com: "Ready, Set, Goal: Business Planning & Goal Setting For Resume Writers."

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