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The Great Burnout: Why a third of Australian Gen Z and Millenial workers want to quit their jobs


Many millennials and Gen Z workers suffer from what has been called the “big burnout,” which prompts them to quit their jobs despite struggling to pay their bills.

Young workers claim they are overworked, underpaid and feel unable to handle responsibilities outside of work.

Many complain that they are “tired of working all week and having nothing for it,” while others complain that they “can’t afford vacation let alone a house.”

This has led to criticism from Boomers and Gen-Xers who label the younger generations as ‘lazy’ and ‘entitled’.

The millennial co-hosts of the Two broken chicks podcast, Sally and Alex, argue that the younger generations aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch.

They have shared research showing that 50 per cent of ‘prime’ Australian workers, aged between 25 and 55, are ‘exhausted’.

In addition, a third are considering quitting because they are overworked.

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It has been revealed that half of Australian workers aged 25 to 55 feel ‘exhausted’ from their day jobs and a third are considering quitting because they are overworked

“Half of them don’t feel tired, not a little overworked, exhausted,” 30-year-old Sally said in the clip posted Friday.

The quick clip divided their listeners.

Many older viewers in the comments were unsympathetic and quickly took aim at young employees telling them to “toughen up.”

“Breaking news, people are getting tired,” one man joked.

That’s the norm, isn’t it? Keep going, that’s called living,” said a second viewer.

“That’s crazy, because I’m exhausted from the constant nagging!” complained a third.

On their podcast Two Broke Chicks, co-hosts Sally and Alex shared research showing that 50 percent of young workers are

On their podcast Two Broke Chicks, co-hosts Sally and Alex shared research showing that 50 percent of young workers are “exhausted,” much to the outrage of Boomer and Gen X listeners

Some were more sympathetic.

“I’m 60 and the demands are now a laughing stock as executives take the big bucks. The young people at my work are also exhausted,” someone added.


Do you think people are more “exhausted and overworked” than ever?

  • Yes, and I am under 40! 45 votes
  • Yes, and I am over 40! 124 votes
  • No, people are just soft! 466 votes

Most Millennials and Generation-Z considered the survey data “accurate,” and many agreed that their jobs leave them feeling empty.

“Companies are cutting jobs, but still expect the same results with fewer staff,” one woman replied.

“We don’t work for anything worthwhile. Work all week, can’t afford a house, vacation or anything else that makes it worth it. Just bills,’ said another.

‘We’re exhausted. Had enough. Training is useless. While the rich get tons of money while they sit back and do nothing,” a third said angrily.

The massive exhaustion in Australian workplaces has been dubbed The Great Burnout.

A 2023 study from the University of Melbourne surveyed 1,400 workers and found that in the post-lockdown era, workers were increasingly unmotivated, exhausted and unable to concentrate.

It was also revealed that senior-aged workers are twice as likely to feel they don’t have enough time to complete tasks outside their job, such as administration and housework.

Since the lockdowns forced many people to look for a new job, many workers are now increasingly willing to change jobs repeatedly until they find something suitable.

According to The conversationIn Australia, however, rather than leaving their jobs, workers wanted to continue working from home and were reluctant to take on unpaid additional responsibilities.

Families had added to the pressure juggling working from home while caring for children as schools and day care centers closed, resulting in poorer mental health.

More employees also took sick leave, putting more pressure on their colleagues.

Careers expert Sue Ellson said workers are now struggling to adapt to the faster-paced lifestyles brought about by the pandemic and figuring out how to slow down again.

What is the big burnout?

For the rest of the world, it was the great resignation that greatly challenged workplaces at the height of the pandemic.

In Australia, however, it is so-called ‘The Great Burnout’.

This is the conclusion of researchers from The Future of Work Lab at the University of Melbourne, who discovered the lasting toll of the pandemic on the working population in a study of 1,400 Australians.

The 2023 State of future work found that young (18 to 34 years old) and middle-aged (35 to 54 years old) workers “have worse mental health than other workers.” ‘

These young and middle-aged workers make up Australia’s best workforce, with one in two saying they feel exhausted at work.

Middle-aged Australian workers are exhausted, less motivated about their work and unable to concentrate on work due to responsibilities outside of work, the report said.

These senior-aged workers are also twice as likely to feel they don’t have enough time at work to do everything they need to do.

Source: hcamag. com

“An overload of homeschooling and juggling work and family responsibilities gave people a new understanding of other ways of working, but while we were speeding up, we haven’t found a way to ‘slow down,'” she said.

“As the pace of home and work increased, the transition from unconscious competence to conscious incompetence during the pandemic took so much more energy and effort and we still haven’t gone back to unconscious competence as both employers and employees try to find a better way forward .’

Sue added that employees’ increased reliance on devices has also taken its toll.

“While some technology inclusions make life more productive, others can provide disconnection and manual effort to get started,” she said.

“For example, if you’re all in a real meeting and you have to grab something from your desk, it’s easy to apologize, but if you’re doing everything remotely, you have to consciously figure out how to get to the source. find’ the item from a device and/or give access to others.’

The LinkedIn specialist said many employees didn’t quit their jobs because they felt loyalty to their employer, especially if they received extra government pay like JobKeeper to stay afloat.

“However, many employees had little or less work to do during this time and that also gave people the opportunity to view more content online, which became a habit,” she said.

“They’ve kept up their viewing habits, but they’ve also added their work commitments — so many people binge-watch series but feel burnt out at the same time.”

How do you recognize the difference between burnout and depression


Symptoms: The World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes burnout by three dimensions; feelings of lack of energy or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and decreased professional effectiveness. These factors can often cause a person to feel tired, helpless or trapped, distant or alone, and overwhelmed.

Caused by: Work pressure that outweighs the resources that can support a person. The WHO defines burnout as ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’.

Treatment: Burnout is treated by taking time to recover and can therefore be alleviated by taking time away from work. Depending on how burned out a person is, their commitment to making changes, and other factors such as workplace support, it can take anywhere from three months to a year to recover.

Key Difference: Burnout is specific to the context of work. It can be managed without medication. However, burnout can lead to depression.


Symptoms: Feeling down, tearful, worthless, empty, angry, irritable, hopeless, and tired. People with depression may no longer find pleasure in things they used to enjoy and prefer to remain isolated. Behaviorally, a person with depression may self-harm (or have suicidal tendencies/thoughts), use more addictive substances, have different eating and sleeping habits, lose interest in sex, and have trouble remembering things or concentrating.

Caused by: There are many causes of depression, says the charity MIND. They include – and can be a combination of – childhood experiences, life events, negative thinking patterns, health problems, recreational drugs/alcohol, a family history or chemical imbalance.

How long it lasts: There is no average length of depression, as it depends on a number of factors.

Treatment: Depends on the severity of the depression. Ranging from mild to severe, it can include self-help, talk therapies, and medication.

Key Difference: Depression has several causes and a person may not be able to identify what makes them feel depressed. In severe cases, it can cause a person to have suicidal thoughts.

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