Getting impatient with coworkers. Lack of energy to be consistently productive. Unexplained headaches. Frustration with your job. According to Mayo Clinic, these are all symptoms of job burnout—and with the pressure to succeed increasing by the day, even the most talented are experiencing professional fatigue.
So what’s the solution? We spoke to three female CEOs to get their stories of how they found themselves overwhelmed by the day-to-day, only to grab the reins and make significant changes, ultimately improving both their personal and professional lives. These are their stories.
Work Trumped Wellness
Emilie Aries, CEO of Bossed Up
I, like, so many women was burnt out completely. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted—all before the age of 25. I had a great job that I was really passionate about, but because I spent so much time working, I didn’t invest any time in my personal sustainability. I had gone from being a college athlete to not having a gym membership for three years. I was working right through my lunch hour. And I was also in a relationship that really brought me down instead of lifting me up. All of these things combined were not working together. On the other side of my transition, where I realized the importance of investing in my personal sustainability for the sake of my professional longevity, I wanted to take these tools and make them actionable for women everywhere. I believe that there are many ways to empower women. Here at Bossed Up, we focus on the personal level: What can you do to take better care of yourself and to advocate for yourself with the same effort and energy that we use to advocate for our loved ones, our organizations, and for the causes we believe in?
The Never-Ending Fight
Alexis Jones, founder of I AM THAT GIRL and ProtectHer
I feel like giving up Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Being an entrepreneur and being on the cutting edge of activism, it is very frustrating to work with systems that feel so ancient or archaic. But you have to learn how to let things roll off your back and know that you can’t win them all. How I’ve learned to deal with it is by saying, “Can you politely step aside, because there is someone who really does care.” I am grateful because I have an amazing support system between my parents, my siblings, and my fiancé—they pick me up and dust me off. They help me think, “Today I tried hard and it didn’t go with the plan, but I’ll keep pushing.”
Try, Then Try Again
Jesse Draper, CEO of The Valley Girl, Inc.
I’m an entrepreneur, so those moments when I want to throw in the towel happen to me all the time. I’ve had a million pivots, especially in entertainment. I started in the digital world when people had no idea what was going on. I did 35 different distribution deals, from Mashable to Forbes to Hearst Publications. I was getting millions of views, but I didn’t quite know how to quantify the impact of those accomplishments. That was when I realized I needed to streamline what I was doing. I jumped over YouTube and now more recently, I switched to TV. And the transition was tough. I’ve had the craziest things happen along the way, like producers who’ve blackmailed me after stealing all of my hard drives. Entertainment it’s like the Wild West. I’ve had many a battle and it’s never-ending, but you have to keep grinding.
Photo: Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / Getty Images