4 Ways to Avoid Burnout in Your CSR Career

A career in corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be a rewarding path. Not only do you get to build your company’s brand and message, but you get to make a tangible, positive difference in the world. It can also be fairly challenging, however. Frustrations over the slow pace of change and the sense of overwhelming responsibility leave many in the field feeling exhausted and stressed.

Since your work is so purposeful, it’s important to prevent the mental pressure from burning you out. Here are four ways to fight off fatigue within your career and get back to the passions that brought you to it.

1. Learn to say “no”

Depending on how large your brand is, the number of organizations that reach out to you might be far too overwhelming for your abilities. Learn where your limits lie and when you need to say no to opportunities in order to avoid spreading yourself too thin. It’s important, however, to also keep in mind how to do it gracefully. Make sure you turn down opportunities while still showing your support for an organization’s mission and goals. Often, it’s a simple sentence in an email, or a kind phone call along the lines of “We love the work your organization is doing, and will continue to support your goals, but we’re just too loaded up at the moment to take this on.” This will likely do the trick politely and help the contact realize that you can only do so much.

2. Take care of yourself

A CSR career can take its toll on your stress levels and mental health. After days based around taking care of others, it’s important to still make time for yourself to avoid feeling overwhelmed or drained. Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes that can help you decompress. Utilize mid-day breaks for stress relief techniques like meditation or yoga. Avoid simple carbs and eat nutritious meals to maintain healthy levels of energy. At night, use comfortable pillows and bedding to get refreshing sleep that will lower your stress levels. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself in order to avoid stress and burnout in your career.

3. Set weekly goals

The sense of accomplishment we feel when we complete projects can be exhilarating and refreshing. Often, it proves that what we do is changing the world for the better. Therefore, there’s likely nothing that will exhaust your efforts more than feeling as though you’re stuck in a constantly expanding and evolving to-do list. Make sure you’re setting small, realistic goals that are both attainable and digestible. A weekly action calendar will make it easier for you to organize your thoughts, complete tasks quickly, and visualize long-term goals. Try to keep one available for the whole team and go over it during weekly meetings to keep everyone motivated.

4. Ask for help

As someone in the CSR field, you should best understand the benefits of collaboration and leaning on others when needed. After all, teamwork allows for more diverse opinion and focused thought to be put into projects. Keep this appreciation in mind whenever you feel like you’re drowning in work. Can you distribute some tasks to alleviate some responsibility from your shoulders? Whether it’s your own team, coworkers, or others in the CSR networks, rely on those around you to make sure you’re not burning yourself out.

Keep these tips in mind so you can keep up the great work and continue finding passion in your job.

Are we missing any tips or resources? Let us know in the comments below. If you found this post helpful, please share it!

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Cristine Sousa

Cristine Sousa

Cristine Sousa holds her Master's of International Management with a major in Social Enterprises through the CEMS Global Alliance in Management Education (Ivey School of Management Western University, Nova SBE Portugal, and Erasmus University Rotterdam). She currently leads Bmeaningful's Marketing and Communications and enjoys engaging with the social impact community! When she's not focusing on Bmeaningful, Cristine is teaching dance and barre classes, volunteering her expertise as the President of New Generation Consulting (a Probono global consulting group), learning about new cultures while travelling the world, or being creative on the keys playing the piano! Feel free to connect with her.

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