Book By: Leiter, Michael P., and Maslach, Cristina
Review By: Kris Rugsaken
Advising Center Coordinator
Ball State University

Have you lost excitement, energy, and enthusiasm in your work? Is getting up in the morning difficult? Are you experiencing work as drudgery? Is your job painfully empty? If so, you are not alone. Job burnout is among the top expenses in the nation’s economy.

Burnout is a phenomenon that affects every type of work, academic advising included. Like computer viruses, it is increasing exponentially in modern work places. As a result, hundreds of books and thousands of articles have been written to help workers overcome or prevent job burnout. Among them is this text by Michael P. Leiter and Christina Maslach, both leading experts on job burnout prevention.

As the title suggests, the authors of this 193 page book lay down ground rules for individuals interested in overcoming job burnout. They detail how to rebuild a rewarding relationship with work. The authors outline their revolutionary new program in chapters that progress from identifying the causes of burnout, to understanding job “mismatches,” to customizing and applying action plans that will help the reader to achieve career goals.

Although all chapters are interrelated, to be successful the reader will find it necessary to follow the strategies, step-by-step and in recommended order. The reader seeking to win over burnout will first need to pinpoint the areas of mismatches by completing a self-assessment that leads to the creation of a unique personal profile. The personal profile serves as the base to guide readers to the relevant strategy for finding solutions. With personal profile in hand, the reader can develop an individualized plan of action. Each action plan includes four-steps: defining the problem, setting objectives, taking action, and tracking progress.

This book would be best used in a classroom situation with an instructor who could check progress toward goals. Unfortunately, those of us who lack the self-discipline needed to monitor our progress from one step to the next would likely “drop out” before the ending of the process. However, each chapter ends with an illustrative case example that demonstrates the process for combating job depression. Each case example demonstrates how an individual has used his or her self profile to develop an action plan that made a dramatic change in the workplace experience and advanced his or her career development.

For those serious about rebuilding a positive relationship with work and who are dedicated to completing the suggested strategies, this book can be a great tool. Those lacking self-discipline would be better off looking for the solutions elsewhere.

Banishing Burnout: Six Strategies for Improving Your Relationship with Work. (2005). Book by Leiter, Michael P., and Maslach, Cristina. Review by Kris Rugsaken. Jossey-Bass. 193 pp., $19.95 (hardcover). ISBN 0-7879-7608-3.

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