What advisors can do to bounce back from burnout

Experts and financial firm insiders weigh in with stress-busting advice

What advisors can do to bounce back from burnout

While working in the financial services industry naturally lends itself to situations of high pressure and stress, the past year and a half of pandemic life has exacerbated those types of feelings among advisors. Some may feel like they’re languishing, while others may have a stubborn sense that they’re not operating at 100%.

Trapped in the limbo of Zoom meetings, emails, and all-virtual office life, many in the professional services industry are feeling more burned out than before the first impact of COVID in 2020. But as outlined in a recent article from Barron’s, there are some steps advisors and firms can take to rise out of their malaise.

Julie Genjac, managing director of Applied Insights at Hartford Funds, told the news outlet that advisors at her firm are most typically concerned about losing their team culture as organizations shift from work-from-home mandates to flexible or hybrid setups. To offset that risk, she suggested that socializing should be prioritized by scheduling uninterrupted, no-business bonding time of even as little as 30 minutes a week.

Another threat to advisor well-being, the article highlighted, is the blurring of the boundaries between home and work. The increasing lack of separation between office and home life can be especially tough for advisors who are incapable of drawing clear lines between those modes, said Jennifer Tarsney, director of the Advisor Advancement Institute at New York Life Investments.

“Just because you are not leaving home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be following some daily pattern of behavior,” she told Barron’s.

A related problem, Tarsney highlighted, stems from some advisors’ tendency to carry everything on their shoulders, which can be worsened by not having an associate sitting in the same room as them. Advisors should avoid wearing themselves down to a nub, she said, by being mindful of when they need to delegate. Identifying two to three goals to focus on every day, she added, can do wonders by promoting a sense of accomplishment.

To avoid potential burnout, advisors should also make it a point to engage in self-care activities like yoga, walking, or, or other forms of exercise, the piece added. If their firms provide access to certain wellness apps or programs, they should also do themselves a favour by taking advantage of those offerings, Barron’s suggested.

In order to help their advisors avoid wearing themselves too thin, some firms have also taken the radical step of encouraging advisors to take a leave, even if they don’t go anywhere.

“Without that nudge, some people don’t take vacation,” Rick Meyers, head of private wealth advisory and client service at Bernstein Private Wealth Management, told Barron’s.