City Counselling Services
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Burnout Self-Test

Checking Yourself for Burnout

Burnout occurs when passionate, committed people become deeply disillusioned with a job or career from which they have previously derived much of their identity and meaning. It comes as the things that inspire passion and enthusiasm are stripped away, and tedious or unpleasant things crowd in. This tool can help you check yourself for burnout.


This tool can help you check yourself for burnout. It helps you look at the way you feel about your job and your experiences at work, so that you can get a feel for whether you are at risk of burnout.

Checking Yourself for Burnout




at all
Rarely Some
Often Very


Do you feel run down and drained of physical or emotional energy?


Do you find that you are prone to negative thinking about your job?


Do you find that you are harder and less sympathetic with people than perhaps they deserve?


Do you find yourself getting easily irritated by small problems, or by your co-workers and team?


Do you feel misunderstood or unappreciated by your co-workers?


Do you feel that you have no one to talk to?


Do you feel that you are achieving less than you should?


Do you feel under an unpleasant level of pressure to succeed?


Do you feel that you are not getting what you want out of your job?


Do you feel that you are in the wrong organization or the wrong profession?


Are you becoming frustrated with parts of your job?


Do you feel that organizational politics or bureaucracy frustrate your ability to do a good job?


Do you feel that there is more work to do than you practically have the ability to do?


Do you feel that you do not have time to do many of the things that are important to doing a good quality job?


Do you find that you do not have time to plan as much as you would like to?

Score Interpretation

Score Comment
15-18 No sign of burnout here
19-32 Little sign of burnout here, unless some factors are particularly severe
33-49 Be careful – you may be at risk of burnout, particularly if several scores are high
50-59 You are at severe risk of burnout – do something about this urgently
60-75 You are at very severe risk of burnout – do something about this urgently

See our article on Avoiding Burnout if you think you might be at risk of it. See our article on Recovering From Burnout if you think it might already have occurred.

This tool uses an informal approach to assessing burnout. While it may be intuitively useful, it has not been validated through controlled scientific tests and must therefore not be used as a diagnostic technique. Please, therefore, interpret the results with common sense. Also, make allowances for any recent events that may have a disproportionate influence on your mood at the time you take the test!

If you prefer rigorously validated tests, then the Maslach Burnout Inventory may be useful. This was developed by Christina Maslach, one of the leading researchers in the field of burnout. Copies can be purchased at the following site:

Warning: Stress can cause severe health problems and, in extreme cases, can cause death. While these stress management techniques have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress, they are for guidance only, and readers should take the advice of suitably qualified health professionals if they have any concerns over stress-related illnesses or if stress is causing significant or persistent unhappiness. Health professionals should also be consulted before any major change in diet or levels of exercise.

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