Caring for the Caregivers: Strategies to Overcome the Effects of Job Burnout

Chris Huebner
University of South Carolina

As each academic term moves toward its end advisors can be heard to say “I cannot wait until this term is over!” Although this may be a declaratory statement, it is a feeling some advisors have had most of the term. Whether caused by student volume, seemingly endless voicemails, or answering those who demand accountability, the time between academic terms can provide a short band aid for those suffering job stress and burnout.

Maslach and Goldberg (1998) noted that it is important that caregivers monitor and change destructive modes of thinking. As academic caregivers, advisors should develop personal strategies to strengthen our connectedness to work and our effectiveness with students. Advisors must foster positive relationships with students. Jackson & Shuler (1985) pointed to evidence that we must create an atmosphere conducive to skills development.

The sources and outcomes of job stress and burnout are well documented in the literature. Advisors can take the disconnect we feel when stress is introduced and look at it not as an ailment to correct, but as an opportunity to create new meaning and engagement. This article addresses how we can promote positive responses to stress when we outline the various disconnects that can occur when burnout is felt. Additionally this article offers three easy- to- implement interventions for advisors.

The complete article can be found on the NACADA’s Clearinghouse for Academic Advising Resources.

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