What to do about burnout when you can't be replaced immediately?
August 10, 2010 9:52 AM Subscribe
I run a small charity that works with several hundred children with about 40 staff doing operations and two people working with me on fundraising and management. I'm unpaid and fulltime, and completely burnt out but it's not a job I can quit or handover immediately - I'm doing a transition to half-time, but it will take another six months, due to the specialised work. How do I stop myself from just setting fire to my desk one day?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About a year ago, we recognised I couldn't handle the workload alone, and started bringing in staff and volunteers. Given another six months, I should be able to cut back hours.
But this weekend, one of my pets died. I'd had the week off very ill (and still trying to keep up with email) and it was the first day I felt healthy again. Sitting with my dying pet, knowing I had a valid reason not to go to work on a day I was healthy was the *best day* in ages - which is crazy.
So I need practical solutions for the next six months of crazy as I shift out.
And -how do I manage the guilt of leaving when I know how necessary the work is? It's the kind of job where if I quit immediately, kids would go hungry and get hurt. We once had to take in kids from a charity where the founder did just that, and it was awful.
Logically, if I stayed on, we could reach even more kids, except for the minor snag of me going crazy and setting my desk on fire.