How to Rock an FP&A Career Comeback After Burnout

Career Burnout

Have you been feeling burnt out lately? You’re not alone—employees across a variety of industries have experienced burnout at higher rates over the past few years.

Burnout levels increased significantly during the pandemic for obvious reasons. Besides the emotional challenges we all faced, our work environments went through some serious and rapid changes.

75% have reported burnout at some point in their careers. However, burnout doesn’t have to disrupt the flow of your FP&A career.

When we decided to relaunch our popular YouTube talk show, Collectiv Conversations, I couldn’t think of a better topic to cover. Since Collectiv Conversations was making a big comeback, it was the perfect time to talk about making a comeback as an FP&A professional.

In the latest episode of Collectiv Conversations, I chatted with Carl Seidman, principal of Seidman Financial, about how to prevent burnout and build a sustainable career in the FP&A industry. Here are some of the most important insights from our conversation.

1. Understand how your career and personal life affect each other.

Your personal life and your work life can affect each other significantly, so it’s important to find the right balance for your current stage of life.

When you’re young, you might have the time and energy to take on plenty of opportunities at work. However, as you get older, things like family, health, and other responsibilities might prevent you from taking on as many tasks as you have in the past.

It’s important to be aware of how your personal life relates to your work and keep that in mind while making career decisions. It’s okay to take a step back or change priorities to better align with your life goals.

If you do take this step, though, you’ll need to communicate with your team and set boundaries to maintain the level of work-life balance you’re aiming for. Be proactive about what you want your work schedule to look like and how you want to interact with your team, including leadership.

2. Say “yes” only when projects align with your big-picture goals.

Being a hard worker opens up a wealth of opportunities for you at work, but it can also be incredibly overwhelming.

Coworkers and clients will fight to have you on their team because of the value you bring to each project. While it can be tempting to say “yes” to everything, this quickly leads to burnout and even distracts you from your big-picture goals.

Instead, consider how each project relates to both your short-term and long-term goals before making a commitment. For example, you might be looking to specialize in a certain skill or move into leadership—would this project help you do so? Consider the people working on each project as well:

  • What kind of connections do they have?
  • Do you enjoy working with them?
  • Will they provide you with the resources you need to succeed?

These are all factors to consider when making decisions about your financial planning and analysis career.

3. Use active communication as an alternative to “quiet quitting.”

The trend of quiet quitting is spreading like wildfire.

Quiet quitting is when employees do the bare minimum to get by at work, rather than putting in extra effort and doing their best work. This trend has taken off because many employees feel overworked and underpaid, and unfortunately, they don’t feel like their employers care about them.

If this situation is happening to you, it’s understandable that you would feel frustrated and want to check out of the workplace. However, this approach isn’t sustainable in the long term.

Instead, it’s important to actively communicate work boundaries with your team. If you don’t feel comfortable setting boundaries in your current work environment, you may need to make some serious FP&A career changes.

When leadership understands what you need to do your best work, they’re able to provide you with the resources and support you need to succeed. For example, some people work better under pressure, while others prefer a slower work pace.

Communicating these needs to your team benefits everyone, because it ensures you have what you need to do your best work. When you bottle your work grievances up, it will negatively affect your productivity and it can even affect your mental and physical health outside of work.

4. Learn how to elevate your team members.

When you first move from a technical role into a leadership role, it can be difficult to step back and let your team get things done—rather than taking everything on yourself.

To make this adjustment easier, focus on elevating your team. Elevating is about taking “delegation” to the next level. Figure out which resources you need to get things done, then foster an environment of healthy communication.

No matter what stage of your career you’re in, it’s important to find work-life balance and set boundaries. Although it sounds counterintuitive, prioritizing your own well-being will also help you find success in your FP&A career.

We’re excited to bring you insights from industry leaders with our return of Collectiv Conversations—new episodes will drop every month. Be sure to subscribe to Collectiv’s YouTube channel so you never miss out on an episode.

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Chris Ortega is a Fractional CFO, strategic advisor, and finance influencer with over 17 years of experience in public accounting, corporate accounting, finance, FP&A, and leadership. As the CEO of Fresh FP&A, he helps businesses transform and scale their finance organization.

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