5 causes of burnout in young professionals

Liz Brinks
3 min readMay 24, 2022


Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Burnout is a contributing factor in my business planning. As I look through the year, I identify seasons, events, and offers that specifically require a lot of my energy, and often leave me feeling drained.

I’m L Brinks, a transgender entrepreneur and young professional. I’m talking about burnout because it’s something SO many of my client's struggle with, and often don’t even realize is occurring.

To help you figure out if it’s burnout, I’m going to share a few common causes of burnout that I personally have experienced. Looking for resources on burnout? Check out my list here or come work with me here.

5 causes of burnout

Working too many hours for too little

This may not come as a surprise, but if you can’t remember the last 5 day work week where you worked 40–30 hours or less — we’ve got a symptom of burnout. Double the effects if you’re not being paid fairly. If you’re still not sure, google what the median income is for your job in your state — if you’re not 20k over that, and putting in more than full-time hours, you’re headed straight for burnout.

Stagnant friends

When was the last time you felt challenged, or really listened to by your friends? I have found that being surrounded by individuals who do not see themselves as successful, or even brave enough to seek out change is often a source of burnout for me. There are plenty of exceptions in situations that likely have more nuance, but if your friends are dragging you down, belittling your goals, or not investing in your passions — that can be a cause for burnout.

The emails never stop and neither do you

This one is specific because I KNOW people panic sometimes when they don’t have access to email. Whether it’s for a day or a weekend, you do not have to allow others constant access to yourself. And in many cases, an email’s response may be more thoughtful and on-topic if given the proper time to marinate, which is why I wrote about time management and scheduling your emails here.

It’s not your thing, and you aren’t motivated

You absolutely do not have to have a job you’re passionate about. But as a Sagittarius moon, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that you at least need to be interested or working towards something. Whether it’s a pay raise, a new certification, or mentoring your coworkers — it’s best to identify SOMETHING that moves you to do your work. If you feel like an expired can of soup on a dust pantry shelf, being paid to do nothing, you may be headed for burnout.

Not knowing what’s out there or how good it could be

Call me repetitive, but if YOU aren’t curious about the world around you, it’s going to be that much harder to seek out change in your own life. Professional and personal development are key factors that allow successful and motivated people to use even the worst burnout as a pivotal point in their lives instead of unplugging from everything. Be curious, explore options within and outside your field, and dare to wonder what could be!

I’m talking about burnout because as a business coach, burnout is a common plague among creatives and entrepreneurs. You can work with me here if you’d like help battling your own symptoms of burnout.



Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!