In psychology of professional activity there are many works, which describe factors and consequences of professional exhaustion, however, Russian psychologists do not pay appropriate attention to positive effect of working. Well, many people dream of, and some feel pure satisfaction from their job. Does positive attitude, or absorption in work, as psychologists say, help avoiding professional exhaustion? Two points of view exist – some researchers say that positive attitude never accompanies professional exhaustion, some think it does, unfortunately.
Russian psychologists studied how absorption in work was connected to professional exhaustion. Target group was Moscow waiters, who wanted to understand when and why they stop loving their job. Scientists tend to think that exhaustion is more typical reaction on environment than satisfaction, however, everything is individual. As for absorption in work, it is more to do with inner imperative that environment, but it also requires balance with personality resources and job responsibilities. However, extreme plunge into work leads to exhaustion of human energy, thus forming cynical attitude towards work. Scientists say that best workers are those, who are able to keep their work at some distance.
Volunteers waiters from various age and gender groups filled anonymous forms, which allowed estimating absorption factors (vigor, enthusiasm, absorption), exhaustion factors (exhaustion, cynicism, reduction of personal achievements), personality (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to new experience, tendency to agree and good faith) and service characteristics.
Researchers found out that absorption in work is a positive characteristic; however, a person should fill whether his abilities meet the requirements. As for exhaustion, it is a reaction on external conditions, but it forms individually. Exhaustion forms slowly and is similar to professional deformation of a personality. Initial stage of exhaustion looks like enthusiastic work, but with time it leads to tiredness and overwork.
The most enthusiastic workers were those, whose professional experience was the shortest. The research confirmed that exhaustion had strong links with absorption in work, and that these two phenomena are not on the opposite poles. Scientists think that activity characteristics and duration of professional experience are most important factors in finding out whether a worker is exhausted or enthusiastic. Most cynical waiters were detected within age group of 25-27 years with professional experience of 1-3 years.
Source: Science News