Burnout in the 21st century – Taboo subject? | École des Ponts Business School

Burnout in the 21st century – Taboo subject?

From long exposure to working on computers, to crazy deadlines, longer working days, toxic work culture, tyrannical management, constant transformation, fear of failure… Today’s work environment is a stress machine, and one could arguably say that the corporate lifestyle gears towards burnout. Today’s work environment is a stress machine, and one could arguably say that the French work lifestyle gears towards burnout.

Pierre Simonnin, MBA 2012, has taken the bold move to open up about his own experience with burnout after 4 years as an entrepreneur. He shared on Linkedin.

“It takes a burnout to understand what burnout is. Even if the word is everywhere, we as a society have a false vision of burnout. Yes, it comes with a great deal of fatigue (more like complete exhaustion, really) and stress (if by stress you mean permanent anxiety). But it’s just a small part of what burnout really is. And unfortunately, this poor knowledge of burnout causes suffering, misunderstanding and more burnouts – which, everyone will agree, is in no one’s interest.

So, both as a form of therapy and a way to raise awareness (for my relatives, my network, and beyond), I decided to talk in front of my camera for the first time to share my experience and talk about burnout: how to recognize it, how to prevent it, how to come back to work (and to life, actually) after a burnout, how to help people who suffer… I’ve started a series of videos on burnout, the first one having been released this week:

I’m so impressed by the amazing feedback I have been getting on this video, both from people I know and complete strangers, and from people who have been through a burnout and complete newbies. And I’m so glad it resonated with the School, which is the perfect ambassador for this message, with its historical focus on ethics and humanity.

Preventing burnout is actually all about engaging in a sustainable way of living. My videos are a small step towards raising awareness, and helping change our approach to work, human relationships and work-life balance. But I’m convinced we can go even further together. So It would be my privilege to take this journey with you. All your comments, feedback, ideas and perhaps personal experience on the subject are more than welcome, as any initiative brings us closer to a better way of working, to a better world.

Thank you for your support, and for spreading the word.

Pierre Simonnin, MBA 2012


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