Marketers Today Face High Burnout and Crippling Anxiety

Are you burnt out?

You aren’t alone. Seven out of 10 marketers today are suffering from burnout, yet we aren’t seeing enough done to address the problem. Ask any marketer for yourself, more than 60 percent will tell you they expect their stress levels to get worse.

Talking to an agency-colleague recently, one who has been in the game for 15+ years, I asked her how she was doing. “Working harder, enjoying it less.” Far from joking, she was on the verge of a mental break down (which are becoming all too common in this industry). Everything in her voice and body language suggested she was crying out for help. I asked her what she does at night or on the weekends to disconnect: “I don’t. I just end up connecting to the VPN and firing off emails.”


9 Signs You’re Nearing Burnout:

  1. You eat lunch in front of your computer every day (continuous work involvement)
  2. Over-commitment (more work to do than hours to do it)
  3. Idealistic standards (high client expectations, but short-handed on resources)
  4. Endless amount of client requests (occasionally interrupted by a crisis or fire-drill)
  5. Chronic fatigue (no idea how you’re going to get through the day)
  6. Guilty feelings about missing out on activities or events with friends/family
  7. Strong sense of responsibility (especially when others are dropping the ball)
  8. Trouble saying “no” or pushing back
  9. Constantly thinking about work (even while you’re showering or trying to sleep)

The ugly truth is that our industry is struggling to keep up with the modern world. Today’s professionals have it harder than any other generation that came before us due to globalization and the 24-hour nature of our work. While you’re trying to put your child down for bed on the east coast, your client in California is just reviewing your deliverable before End of Day– expect revisions. In 2018, it’s growing impossible to juggle a career while balancing the demands of our personal lives.

It’s an ongoing inside joke for U.S. marketers. Sit long enough at any PRSA or AMA event and sooner or later the conversation turns to the frustrations of the day-to-day hustle. In a world where Amazon is king, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s driving this insanity– the “do more” way of business demands that we delight customers with better service and lower prices. And then our customers respond by outsourcing more marketing to us. We grow faster, invest more, and delight more customers. The cycle continues. Leadership will insist that long hours are not a badge of honor, but the promotions and awards continue to end up in the hands of those who burn the midnight oil. An unstressed marketer? I may be the only one. But that’s only because I mostly quit social media and stopped reading the news.

At first glance, the problem seems unique to our industry. But a deeper look shows other industries with agency models are facing the exact same problem (e.g. lawyers, doctors, management consultants). In our world, our success is measured by revenue and billable hours. Our merit is earned through long hours in a fast-paced, pressured, and highly competitive environment, often including the burden of emotionally charged situations and stressful client interactions.


Does the following sound all too familiar?

  • Long hours, followed by remote work from home and out-of-pocket emails
  • Clients and coworkers constantly passing judgment on your performance
  • Ever-present deadlines amidst constant interruptions by phone and email
  • Client stress transferred to account managers and agency team members
  • Competition to win clients’ ongoing business
  • Job security concerns and lack of upward mobility
  • A gap between the ideals of entering the professional world and the reality

In essence, today’s marketers sacrifice their freedom for the comfort of their clients. Written out like this, it doesn’t sound like much of a problem at all. It sounds like the way we do business in America. But maybe that’s something we can change.


Is All Hope Lost for Marketers?

Over the past few years, work-life balance has become a popular topic among marketing and communications professionals. There are many agencies that exist today that are working hard to figure out new ways to make our profession easier to manage. Balancing the 24-hour work day is a common problem in agency HR departments today. Is all hope lost for marketers? I expect not, but it’ll require a great deal of effort and rethinking the way we invest in the welfare of our workers.

A few years ago, the agency I worked at in Miami, FL was considering whether to allow workers to access email from their phones or simply let them connect by VPN. It was a noble pursuit, designed with flexibility in mind. Forget the cables, the docking station for your HP laptop, and the wasteful minutes it takes for your version of Windows to reboot. Now you can quickly get that pesky email sent off from the comfort of your mobile phone.

It goes to show, not all investments return a profit. Now agencies have their employees on a tight 24-hour leash. Miss an important client email and expect to be reprimanded or shamed when you get to work the next day. I once had a manager forbid me from checking my email while on vacation. A sad reality for workers today when you feel handcuffed to your work email, even when you’re thousands of miles away in South America.


Band-Aid Solutions We’re Tired of Hearing

  • Implement better time-management skills
  • Learn to “manage up” and push back on deadlines
  • Turn your out-of-office on when you’re head down in assignments

Those are all great options in theory, but many times all three are non-negotiable when your client is facing “an emergency” (every client thinks their issue is an emergency). And even when these are feasible solutions, it doesn’t explain how to reprogram an achievement-oriented type-A professional’s definition of great work ethic and success. Let’s not forget that all three of these band-aids can also get in the way of revenue and billability, two very real success metrics for most agencies.


Broader Solutions for the Long Haul

“Take care of yourself: When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers. Love those close to you: Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationship is.” — Julia Hartz, Founder of Eventbrite

Looking for ways to improve the work-life balance of today’s marketers means:

  • Workers have the right to unplug from their jobs. In France, the law requires companies to ensure that work email doesn’t infringe on days off, evenings, or weekends.
  • Employees can take sick days and vacations when they want to, which may help with high turnover rate and keeping positions from shifting away from full-time roles in favor of consulting. Brazil, Finland, and France all grant their employees 30 paid days off per year in addition to public holidays and sick days, that’s nearly 4 times the amount of days off us Americans enjoy in our first year on the job (and most Americans today have to earn cumulative PTO).
  • Focusing less on billability rates and more on investing in the workforce. In Denmark, most companies have corporate policies that allow employees to take paid classes to learn new skills. This causes Danish workers to be more relevant and engaged in the workforce.
  • Time can be set aside for billing clients, filing expense reports, team meetings, and other administrative work.


One more final thought in passing…

If you’re looking for a job in today’s market, you’ll notice employers today are increasingly interested in who you are both inside and outside of work. It’s important to develop both of these areas to make a name for yourself in any industry. What makes you a great professional is as much your experiences, habits, and daily rituals as the amount of coffee and client emails you consume on any given day. A burnt out employee isn’t much good to any employer or client. If you’re facing burnout today, try out this short exercise:

  1. Do not read any news or check your social media.
  2. Do not listen to any podcasts or audiobooks.
  3. Do not watch more than 1 hour of television.
  4. Do not read any non-fiction or business-related books.
  5. Listen to as much music as you like.
  6. Read as much fiction as you like.
  7. Take a short walk each day, and ditch your phone.

Give it an honest try outside of regular working hours and let me know how you feel. I have a feeling that once you get a taste of how much more productive you can be, your week will never look the same again.


Be sure to click ‘Get Access’ if you want to read more from Eduardo Lopez. He is the author of “Social Media Career Building” and is working on his second book, an exploration of ancient wisdom and self-help advice. Follow him on LinkedIn and his email is


  1. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God.

    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    Visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see proof for these things and why the Bible truly is the word of God!

    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! This is forever…God bless!


    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus came to pay a debt that we could not; to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness through faith (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow the rituals and traditions of man but to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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