A Marketer’s Nightmare – Burnout


Almost every job comes with its fair share of stress and tension. Marketers, although not among the top 10 stressful jobs, report that they’re overly stressed or stressed out to the max. It’s true that no lives will be lost and the universe won’t collapse if they make a poor decision, but in their own words, high expectations and a constant struggle to “provide value to people who don’t understand what you do” are the main sources of stress. After a long period of stress, burnout sets in and it has already become a new buzzword in the industry. If you’re feeling low, apathetic, drained, or empty, you might be suffering from this common syndrome that many marketers are falling victim to these days.

Stress vs Burnout

People tend to confuse stress and burnout, but these two terms aren’t synonymous. They are closely related in the sense that chronic stress inevitably leads to burnout. If you’re stressed, you’re feeling overwhelmed and under a great deal of pressure, you’re bending your efforts to finish all your projects, and you’re putting all the energy you’ve got into completing everything that’s expected from you. On the other hand, burnout leaves you with no energy, interest, or motivation whatsoever, and a predominant feeling is that of hopelessness. Stress is usually followed by numerous physical symptoms such as raised blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues, or sleep disturbances, while burnout is an emotional reaction to work-related stress.

Main Causes

Marketers can suffer from burnout for many different reasons, but some of them are industry-specific. Marketing offers a job in a dynamic, fast-paced, creative, and constantly evolving environment, where every day is completely different than the one before. At first, all this is attractive and interesting, but at a certain point, these benefits start wearing you out and getting the better of you. Together with a constantly increasing workload, hectic schedules and tight deadlines cause stress and exhaustion.  Apart from this, there are several issues that additionally aggravate this situation.

  • Poor organizational skills are the culprit behind the dissatisfaction of almost 78% of marketers with their workflow, according to a recent study. It’s very easy to fall into this trap when there are many simultaneous tasks to deal with or when you lack an overview of the projects underway.
  • Spontaneity, which goes hand in hand with creativity and which is inevitable in marketing, can’t be planned. That’s why many marketers have time management issues, as they’re frequently interrupted by ad-hoc decisions and flashes of inspiration.
  • Tons of notifications that keep on popping up 24/7 can be a distracting factor. Social media messages, texts, and emails are usual stressors, and it’s hard to tune out when you’re expecting an important message or an update.
  • Being a marketer isn’t a 9 to 5 job, which means that you’re usually expected to work late hours or weekends, which can put a strain on your personal life.
  • Working in a team of talented people is great and every success is a joint effort. That’s why marketers usually feel underappreciated as there’s rarely any recognition of their individual efforts and endeavors.


There are numerous things you can do in order to escape from this vicious circle of being overworked, overstressed, and burned-out. Coming to terms with one’s own limits and capabilities should be among the first steps toward fighting chronic stress and burnout. Once you do that, you can draw the line and try to negotiate your contract and see if you can change something. Working on your time management and organizational skills is a must, as no matter how much work you’ve got, you’ll certainly be able to do more when you’re focused. As all this can affect your health, it’s highly recommendable to seek professional help.

If you’re a marketing professional from Australia like me, you already know how demanding and challenging this line of work can be, but I can tell you from my own experience that finding the right psychologist in Sydney practically saved my career. I was on the verge of giving everything up as I couldn’t cope with all the stress and an ever-increasing workload. Setting clear goals, planning everything ahead, effective task delegation, using project-management tools, and giving yourself a break even when you’re in the middle of a busy day are helpful strategies that can reduce stress levels and prevent burnout.

Remember, every marketer has experienced burnout at one point or another. Don’t wait for the workload to reduce, or unrealistic expectations to magically turn into more realistic ones, as that’s not going to happen. Taking control of your career may be a difficult step, but it’s essential for improving the quality of your life.

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