If life feels drab and depressing, Seattle's gray winter weather may not be the culprit. You could be experiencing job burnout. Here are the signs that your job is bringing you down.

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The gray and rainy winters in Seattle can be dreary and even depressing at times. But is it the weather that’s making you feel that way? It just might be your job.

Are you frustrated at work and feeling angry or cynical about your job? Find yourself getting impatient and irritable with co-workers or customers? Then you might be experiencing job burnout.

According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of job burnout can include the lack of energy to be consistently productive and unexplained headaches or other physical complaints. Some of the symptoms could indicate certain health conditions, so the first step to determine whether you have job burnout is to write down your symptoms and make sure there isn’t an underlying medical problem.

Next, it’s important to understand some of the main causes of the symptoms of burnout. For example:

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Lack of job control. “An inability to influence decisions that affect your job — such as your schedule, assignments or workload – could lead to job burnout,” Mayo Clinic staffers say.

Unclear job expectations. Being unsure of what you’re required to accomplish can add stress and confusion to your daily activities and contribute to burnout.

Work environment that leads to increased stress levels. According to an American Psychological Association study, 41 percent of employees report that they typically feel stressed out during the workday, and only 58 percent report that they have the resources available to manage work stress.

Lack of physical activity. Sitting at your desk all day can also contribute to increased stress levels, poor health and job burnout.

Too much work and too little play. Working long hours might be financially beneficial, but it can also be a cause of job burnout. Everyone needs some down time to unwind.

After you’ve written down your symptoms and reviewed the list of potential causes, ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I feel in control of my job? Do I have the necessary resources to do my job?
  • Do I clearly understand my boss’ expectations of what I need to accomplish at work?
  • Does the office culture foster a positive working environment?
  • Am I getting enough physical activity every day/week to feel good about myself and remain healthy?
  • Am I scheduling enough “me” time to unwind and to spend time with family and friends?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, create a plan to address that issue. If you don’t clearly understand your job expectations, sit down with your manager to define your goals and objectives for the year. If you aren’t regularly exercising, join a gym or find activities that get you moving.

The key to overcoming job burnout is to recognize the signs and symptoms, understand the causes and then proactively take control of your job and your life.

Lisa Quast is the founder of Career Woman, Inc., and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at lquast@careerwomaninc.com.