A Takeaway from the Article Delayed Gratification: A Double-Edged Sword? A Study on the Relationship Between Delayed Gratification, Work-Life Conflict and Career Burnout


What is Burnout?

Many assume burnout is feelings of extreme fatigue, but there is more to burnout than being tired. Burnout has 3 dimensions of ill-being involving exhaustion, cynicism and reduced professional efficacy in the workplace.[1] What does each of these mean?


Burnout Dimensions [2] [3]

1) Exhaustion: feeling fatigued due to work.

2) Cynicism: feeling negative or detached towards work and/or colleagues.

3) Reduced professional efficacy: the feeling of reduced competence or achievement.


If you’re not feeling burnout what else might it be? [3] [4] [5]

1) Overextension: have strong feelings of exhaustion only from your workload.

2) Disengagement: solely have feelings of cynicism.

3) Reduced Efficacy: feelings of reduced professional efficacy only.

4) Workaholism: experiencing exhaustion, cynicism, reduced professional efficacy and high work engagement. You are tired, have negative moods, have feelings of reduced competence but are still driven and motivated.


Does one of these sound like something you are feeling in the workplace? Your work and life balance are important. It can be helpful to identify what you are experiencing to then make changes to overcome your stressors and difficulties. For some, that may include changes to how you are working, or with self-care, boundary setting and communication. Others may need to change a role or career. It can be helpful to create a plan with a career counsellor to make that transition.


If you want to discuss this further with a Career Counsellor, you can call on us at Canada Career Counselling!


By Brittany Shields


[1] Maslach, C., Jackson, S., & Leiter, M. (1996). Burnout Inventory manual. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists.

[2] Bakker, A. B., & Costa, P. L. (2014). Chronic job burnout and daily functioning: A theoretical analysis. Burnout Research, 1(3), 112-119.

[3] Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (2016). Latent burnout profiles: A new approach to understanding the burnout experience. Burnout Research, 3(4), 89-100.

[4] Schaufeli, W. B., Taris, T. W., & Van Rhenen, W. (2008). Workaholism, burnout, and work engagement: Three of a kind or three different kinds of employee well‐being?. Applied psychology, 57(2), 173-203.

[5] Upadyaya, K., Vartiainen, M., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2016). From job demands and resources to work engagement, burnout, life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and occupational health. Burnout Research, 3(4), 101-108.