Burnout: Part I


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Burnout: A 3-part series in distilling the research on the lore, the implications and the protections against burnout for career counselors This 3-part series will discuss research from a variety of sources to provide a definition of burnout, where burnout may appear, consequences of burnout, implications of it for career counselors, and lastly, strategies to mitigate the effects of burnout in hope that we may keep our candle lit. This first installment will focus on assessing what burnout is, where it may appear, and the consequences of it.

Burnout. It is a word often utilized to describe this vague sense of a lack of something---lack of energy, lack of fulfillment, and even a lack of feeling like a fully functional human being. This feeling was first described as “burnout” when discussing human service workers—a population which includes career counselors (Freudenberger, 1974). Schaufeli and colleagues provide a metaphor of a candle to describe this “lack.” When sufficient resources are present, the candle may burn bright. When resources are depleted and withdrawn, the candle remains apt to be snuffed—leaving no light for the environment and no purpose for the candle.

Christina Maslach, Ph.D., a renowned scholar on burnout, describes it as a combination of three distinct elements (1981):

  • Emotional exhaustion: Feeling extended emotionally and exhausted while at work
  • Depersonalization: Feeling impersonal towards clientele, towards yourself, and overly cynical to the world
  • Reduced personal accomplishment: Feeling ineffective and inefficient at work

How does it feel to picture the candle without resources? To read these symptoms of burnout? Familiar? Uncomfortable? These feelings tend to not be pleasant. Unfortunately, burnout does not just affect one area of our life.

Additional research from Kristensen and colleagues (2005) shows that burnout is likely to occur in one of three domains:

  • Personal burnout: Focused on fatigue and exhaustion felt by the worker in their life
  • Work-related burnout: Related to burnout in all areas of work which are not client related. These could be organizational, with people in your direct office, or direct organization, or even towards tasks and projects.
  • Client-related burnout: Emphasizes fatigue and exhaustion related to work tasks specifically involving clients.

To further dim one’s happiness, we know that consequences of burnout affect the worker, the client, and even the entire system (Garcia, McGeary, McGeary, Finley, & Peterson, 2014). These effects can be severe. It is likely to decrease the worker’s morale, the worker’s performance, while increasing absenteeism (Maslach, 1978). The system possesses lower staff retention (AbuAlRub & Al-Zaru, 2008), which increases financial costs in loss of productivity, turnover, and in training of new hires (Stoller, Orens, & Kester, 2001).

Perhaps most importantly for career counselors though, it is the client that also suffers. For many, serving the client remains a profound reason for doing the work. Yet, clients of burned out workers are more likely to possess lower quality of care (Leiter, Harvie, & Frizzell, 1998), lower treatment outcomes (Lasalvia et al., 2009), and they are more likely to be the recipient of negative staff attitudes (Holmqvsit & Jeannea, 2006).

Recognizing burnout can also be helpful for working with students. Our next installment will focus on why burnout remains important to career counseling, and different strategies for coping with burnout in various situations. Until then, keep your candle burning.


Craig Warlick is a guest blogger from University of Kansas.

KACE 2016 Conference Award Recipients


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In case you weren't able to make the conference, we wanted to brag on our members.  The following individuals were honored earlier this month:

KACE16 Award Winners

Back Row (L to R):

David Gaston: Larry Hannah Career Services Director Award 

David is deserving of this award for his constant desire to help his staff learn and grow. He truly cares about each person and wants his staff members to reach their full potential and follow and reach their career aspirations, and he is more than willing to serve as a strong support person along the way to help in any way he can. David has a strong ability to identify strengths within his staff and tailor staff members' roles and responsibilities to capitalize on those strengths, which provides a huge benefit not only to the staff members, but to the office and University as a whole and most importantly to the students of KU.

I truly appreciate his open door policy and ability to help work through any situation no matter how big or small. David also thinks big and is always coming up with new, creative ideas to enhance our services and help our students and expects the same of his staff. I have been given so many amazing opportunities thanks to him, and I am so grateful. I love being able to discuss new ideas with him and see them come to fruition. David is an outstanding director who is definitely deserving of this award, and I am proud to be a member of his team.

Erin Wolfram: Chairperson of the Year

It's hard to begin to put into words the ways that Erin has gone above and beyond. She developed organizational systems, kept the team in line and on board, and ultimately pulled off an awesome conference. She was instrumental in increasing the number of breakout sessions and in coordinating not one but two great keynotes. I personally confided in Erin for feedback/assistance with program selection and coordination. At times, Erin made tough decisions even when they weren't the easy decision. She kept the meetings on track and made it look easy to make constant positive progress. For these reasons and so many more, she is definitely worthy of the Chairperson of the Year.

Gary Handy: Career Services Member of the Year

Gary is extremely deserving of the CSMOY award. From his involvement in various committees including the Conference planning committee, the membership development committee, and serves as the chairperson for the bylaws committee. From his contributions on these committees, to volunteering his garage to make conference table decorations, Gary goes above and beyond, always with a smile on his face.

Dana Nordyke: Outstanding Committee Member

Immediately following the 2015 conference after signing up for the conference committee, Dana emailed me and asked if she could lead the program/speaker sub-committee out of her own interest to get more involved in KACE, a job that is not easy! As the leader of that sub-committee, she played an integral role in securing our Thursday keynote speaker, Joyce Layman, soon after our first meeting. Additionally, she continued to provide great ideas and insight regarding additional keynote options, which helped us secure our Friday speaker as well, which proved to be a challenge! Dana also did a great job brainstorming potential breakout session speakers, agreed to serve as a presenter herself, and organized the schedule of rooms for all speakers.

She served on the conference booklet sub-committee and volunteered to create the event PowerPoint. I could always count on Dana to volunteer to help with any task that needed to be done. She also had the fantastic idea of using Trello to assist the committee and all of the sub-committees in staying organized and help us communicate effectively despite having members all across Kansas and Missouri. This proved to be a huge help throughout the entire planning process.

Dana was an amazing support person for me and was always more than willing to assist me with any issues that arose, brainstorm new ideas, keep me sane, and provide helpful insight whenever needed. Her dedication to KACE is outstanding, and she is definitely deserving of this award. I am so grateful to have met Dana through KACE and am proud to call her a colleague and friend.

Front Row (L to R):

Brandi Wriedt: Technology Award

Brandi has done a phenomenal job of leading the technology team for KACE this year. She kept us on track as a committee during the busiest parts of the semester. I relate this to herding cats. She always has the most positive attitude in motivating us and keeping us on the same page. Also, I have learned a lot about how to run a good, efficient meeting from the way Brandi leads our team. While I know she is running in a lot of directions in her own career services role, she made KACE a priority in so many ways and for this reason she deserves the Technology Award!

Celeste Gruhin: Employer Member of the Year

Celeste brings her positivity and energy to everything she does! She has been an enthusiastic member of KACE, serving as the Employer Relations representative to the board since 2015. Celeste is a great representative for her own employer, UPS, and is also proactive in trying to promote KACE to Kansas City area businesses and to bring additional employers into the organization.

Ashley Kruger: Brad Barackman Bridge Award 

Ashley is deserving of the Brad Barackman Bridge Award for the mentorship program she has developed in Business Career Services. The School of Business Mentorship Program is designed to bring together students and professionals that share common professional interests. This mentoring relationship will enable business students to be better supported as they explore varied career opportunities and assist them as they navigate those early years of professional life. Ashley works hard to recruit students and employers and helps facilitate connections between them through this program. Her mentorship program is a strong example of a program that creates a bridge between employers and career services and provides a great opportunity for KU students to engage in meaningful career development activities.

Rhiannon Racy: Rookie of the Year

Over the past year, Rhiannon has played integral roles in the both the membership development and conference planning committees. This past summer, when another KACE member moved to a new position outside of career services, without hesitation Rhiannon jumped in and took on the leadership role of chair of the membership development committee. Since then she has done a fabulous job communicating and coordinating with several other members to ensure the membership committee is on top of all of their tasks and as effective as possible in providing a welcoming environment for our members.

Additionally, as part of the conference planning committee Rhiannon has led the decorations sub-committee and took on the time consuming and challenging task of creating the conference booklet, all while navigating a position transition at the University Career Center. Rhiannon has been an extremely valuable asset to both of the committees she is on and to KACE as whole in her first year as a professional member, and she is definitely deserving of this award. I truly appreciate all of her commitment and effort, and it does not go without notice!

Conference Award Nominations


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The deadline is quickly approaching to nominate a colleague or fellow KACE member for their outstanding contributions to KACE over the past year. Please take a few moments to complete the form, so that we as an organization can have the opportunity to share our thanks and appreciation for a job well done.  Keep in mind that for two of the awards* (Technology Award and The Brad Barackman Bridge Award), nominations are not limited to contributions to KACE as an organization, but individuals can be recognized for contributions to the fields of Career Services or Human Resources.  This is a great way to recognize your colleagues for the great work they are doing on your campuses and in local organizations.  Nominations are due by 12:00 pm tomorrow!

Award Descriptions
Career Services Member of the Year Award
In recognition of outstanding contributions by a Career Services member to KACE during the past year.

Chairperson of the Year Award
In recognition of the outstanding contributions by a KACE committee chairperson during the past year.

Employer Member of the Year Award
In recognition of outstanding contributions by an employer to KACE during the past year.

Rookie of the Year Award
In recognition of outstanding contributions by a member who is in their first year of membership.

Technology Award*
In recognition of outstanding contributions to KACE or to their profession through the development of innovative programs and services.  Contributions for this award are not limited to KACE, but can also be to either the Career Services or Human Resources professions.

Outstanding Committee Member Award
In recognition of outstanding contributions by a KACE committee member during the past year.

Brad Barackman Bridge Award*
In recognition of the KACE member who implemented, over the past year, an outstanding program that serves as an effective “bridge” between employers and Career Services.  Contributions for this award are not limited to KACE, but can also be to either the Career Services or Human Resources professions.

The Larry Hannah Career Services Director Award
In recognition of a Career Services Director who made an outstanding contribution to KACE during the past year.

Importance of Professional Development


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I recently returned from the whirlwind ACPA Midwest Regional Conference in Kansas City.  What I learned most was not just the importance of networking or why it's valuable to present at conferences, but why it's important to invest in yourself.

Yes, I made some new contacts outside of career services at a variety of institutions.  Yes, I presented as part of a panel to graduate students on finding your institutional fit.  One of the sessions at the conference even discussed using your top 5 from StrengthsQuest to answer 7 common interview questions which was very interesting and served as a big takeaway for my work with students.

However, the one that stuck out most (for various reasons) was the session on soft skills.  We've seen the NACE survey detailing the top transferable skills for which employers are seeking, but how are we helping students refine and develop those skills?  The Class of 2016 believes it is "career ready" and the NACE Career Readiness Competencies directly address the top 10-12 skills.   But numerous reports state these are still areas of development for our students.  Encourage students to join organizations or volunteer their time in the local community.  What better way to see leadership, teamwork, and communication skills in action?!

Most importantly, are we refining those skills in ourselves and demonstrating them to students?  When was the last time you pitched a new idea at work or took the initiative to make a change to meet this generation (or the incoming generation) of students you serve?  When was the last time you took your own advice to join a new organization, participate in a leadership institute, or attended a presentation more out of personal interest rather than what you could take back and use in your position?

I took time at this conference to attend sessions both of interest to me and out of pure curiosity.  Through both types of sessions I found something that I can either work on personally or take back to use in the office.  And I encourage you to do the same--if not now, the FLSA changes in December will definitely provide some of us with time to spend on us 🙂

10 New Ways to Make ‘Em Work and Play’!


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This past June I had the opportunity to attend NACE 2016 in Chicago. While there, I was eager to attend sessions that provided me with solid take away activities that I could implement for career workshops. I was not disappointed! On the first day, I attended a session called "10 New Ways to Make 'Em Work and Play' presented by two Career Services staff members, Veronica and Ali, from Purdue University.

The session was focused on interactive career "games" that could be brought into a career workshop or class environment. Many of the games were scale-able to large or small groups, and encouraged students to think outside the box when reflecting on their career interests. In particular, my favorite game was "Wheel of Fortune"--it involves giving away candy, is easy, and can be a great icebreaker to whatever career topic you are hoping to discuss.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the attached .pdf of Veronica and Ali's presentation as well as the Google document complete with directions for all the games.

Happy planning!

10_New_Ways_to_Make_Em_Work_(__Play) original 1465311231

Mission Statements – getting personal!


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Happy Summer Everyone!

Last week I participated in the annual program directors’ training for AmeriCorps subgrantees of the Missouri Community Service Commission. While the Commission provides ‘nuts and bolts’ training, the real learning takes place through the exchange of ideas, challenges, concerns and successes the group shares. Even though it’s my sixth year, I always gain so much just by being around new and experienced colleagues. One of many takeaways this year, was the idea of having members write a ‘personal mission statement’ – an idea that could easily work for interns or students. In fact, maybe you already do this, and if so, I’d love feedback on if/how it works for them! One short article that helped me focus on how I wanted my members to think about and frame their statements was Personal Mission Statements Of 5 Famous CEOs (And Why You Should Write One Too) because it ties in the concept of ‘personal brand’ which is a topic we’ve been discussing a lot lately. It outlines some basic prompts: What am I passionate about? What are my values? What makes me great? And then a simple writing template “that links together three elements: The value you create + who you’re creating it for + the expected outcome.” For example: I use my passion and expertise for service to create a meaningful, impactful experience for both my organization and my AmeriCorps members.

I hope this post inspires you, your team, or your students to either create or revisit a personal mission statement – and share it!


AmeriCorps- a friendly PSA


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In April, mayors from across Kansas and Missouri took time to recognize the commitment and contributions of everyday people who are doing an extraordinary thing…serving. Nationally, more than 3,000 U.S. mayors and county leaders helped proclaim the impact of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Programs. Well ok, that’s wonderful, you might be thinking, but why is this important to me and/or my students?

To start with, AmeriCorps is often compared to a “domestic Peace Corps” – with opportunities to make a lasting difference by tackling the most pressing needs our communities and our fellow citizens face today, all over the country. Each year, more than 75,000 individuals (ages 18-90+) serve at more than 15,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. But as I’ve seen with my own program’s members, it’s not just what they give to those organizations (energy, talents, and skills) but the incredible impact that service makes on the member. Over the past decade, Harvesters’ AmeriCorps members (who serve a one-year, full time term educating, engaging and empowering the community around food insecurity) have consistently reported a high level of satisfaction around issues of community impact, personal development, and professional growth.

  • “As a nutrition educator, I am in a position to foster real change in the community. I’ve seen so many kids and adults have that ‘lightbulb moment’ – but it never gets old!”
  • “I hate to admit this, but I wouldn’t have had the self-confidence to go on to graduate school in another city, if I hadn’t done AmeriCorps.”
  • “I’m turning 40 this year…and I have grown more during this term as an AmeriCorps member, than I have ever before in my entire adult life.”

An AmeriCorps program is not the same as an internship, although there are some similarities –usually members receive a stipend (full time members qualify for free health insurance), the chance to learn/practice soft and hard skills, and are functioning in a clearly defined role with measurable outcomes – all of which definitely enhances their employability after completing a service term. Many are looking to gain a sense of direction for their future, or want to establish connections and networks for a first (or second, or third!) career (sound familiar?). But the other main benefit?  It’s the Segal Education Award which that can be used toward future educational expenses, or to pay off existing student debt (and for members 55+, the Award can be transferred).  I really encourage you to learn more about this option for your students or colleagues, information on all the national service programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service can be found here www.nationalservice.gov – or share this quick PSA! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4eE0tNS2YY#action=share

New Summer, New Changes


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Earlier in the month, we wrote about how to go into the summer months with intention, fresh perspectives, and a new lens on productivity. I am also eager for a slower pace and time to work on seemingly endless ideas and projects! In that spirit, there are "mountains of possibilities" at this year's KACE Conference! From interesting and engaging break out sessions to opportunities for lively conversations with dear colleagues, KACE 2016 is sure to be a huge hit and we are eager to share Lawrence with everyone.

With a new summer, there are also new changes in Lawrence! The KU Business Career Services has moved into a new space, Capitol Federal Hall, and can't wait to welcome our KACE colleagues in December. In fact, today is our first day in our new home! The Business Career Services’ move into #CapFedHall will be transformative in how we connect students to alumni and recruiters--when you are here in December, be sure to visit us!


Capitol Federal Hall, Lawrence, KS


Meet the Bloggers–Part 1: Dana Nordyke


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Have you been receiving blog posts and can't put a face with the name?  Well, for the next couple months I'm going to help you do just that.  The first individual from the KACE Technology and Communication Committee I would like to introduce you to is Dana Nordyke.

dana-nordyke-resizedDana is the Assistant Director, Liaison to the College of Architecture, Planning & Design and the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University's Career and Employment Services office.  In her role she interacts with students, faculty, alumni, and employers to provide employer connections, develop professional skills, and meet on-on-one for career preparation or graduate school preparation.  She leads the Design Expo and Architecture, Planning & Design Mock Interview events as well as other workshops or center-wide events.

Dana is a KSU alum with a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.S. in College Student Development.  Her career path includes serving as a G.A. for Counseling Services, Staff Assistant for Leadership Studies, and a practicum student in Athletics.  Dana has worked with Career and Employment Services since 2009 and is currently pursuing a PhD in Student Affairs.  In addition, Dana is a certified Career Development Facilitator and is a Start Smart Salary Facilitator.

The best part of KACE?  In Dana's own words "the connections to professionals who really understand the ups and downs of career services.  Involvement with the conference planning committee over the last 4 years has allowed me to develop close-knit friendships/mentor relationships with colleagues from other schools.  It really is a lot of fun to work together and see the final product in December."

Want to connect with Dana?  You can email her at nordyke@k-state.edu.

Would you like to be featured in a Member Spotlight post?  Fill out the form here.

National Student Employment Week (April 11-15)


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Today marks the first day of National Student Employment Week!

Take some time to celebrate your student employees or interns this week (April 11- 15, 2016). I don’t know about you, but our student employees add so much to our office. They take initiative and make so many projects a reality. The smallest of gestures can mean so much to your students.

We partner a few staff members with a student to celebrate them each day of the week. We aim to keep costs low and just have fun. At the end of the week we host an all staff gathering.

Some ideas to celebrate your students include:

  • Certificates of appreciation
  • Genuine compliments about his/her work
  • Potlucks or pizza parties
  • Ice cream sundaes
  • Thank you notes
  • Individualized snacks
  • Funny poems
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Homemade goodies
  • Shout outs on social media

More information about National Student Employment Week: http://www.nsea.info/docs/about/awards/nseaweek.html


Dana Nordyke is an Assistant Director for Kansas State University