Burnout in the “Passion Economy”: Mental Health for Open Talent

Looking out across worlds @Ellen Feldman

The Pros and Cons of Being an Independent Worker

Independent workers can avoid three major sources of stress at work: 1. Poorly structured tasks that do not correspond to our skills and patterns of work; 2. working hours that cramp our preferred lifestyle and hurt our sleep, and 3. obnoxious colleagues and toxic bosses.

Copyright Sheila Mahoney, LifeSciHub

Making sure the liquid workforce is on solid mental health grounds

While it is sexy, being one’s own boss is challenging.

Entrepreneurship and branching out on one’s own can entail financial and personal risks. Being an entrepreneur or open talent requires a set of skills that are not common. For example, consider the software engineer who now needs to develop P.R. skills, marketing knowledge, and H.R. expertise while managing operations and the back-office. Freelancing is not just one job; rather it requires multiple hats and a multi-faceted set of skills. These challenges can make an entrepreneur feel powerless.

Play your individual part — as talent.

Colleagues burning out and engaging in erratic, problematic behavior at work impact many others around them. In Open Talent, the effect is less visible to the professional community but extends to personal lives and local communities. Family, friends, and even investors are often directly (and certainly financially) involved or impacted by mental health issues.

  1. Are we respectful and mindful of others’ time, schedules and needs? Do we ask before we demand? Do we let clients demand too much of us?
  2. Do we glorify our ability to take on more work with less sleep and when do we just show off?
  3. What are we doing to contribute to improving the system versus to what extent are you exacerbating stressors?

Take responsibility for creating a world you want to see — as forward-thinking platforms.

Source: https://open-assembly.com/open-talent-ecosystem, accessed October 2021
  1. Do you take initiative and seek independence or do you need others to motivate you?
  2. Do you have a strong support network? Who will catch you if you fall? Where will you go for advice?
  3. How do you respond to failure and rejection?
  4. Are you passionate about solving a customer problem or motivated by financial return?
  5. What steps will you take to cultivate a healthy balance between your life and company? Do you feel that you have the tools and skills to sustain your well-being at work? How will you measure it?
  6. Is the livelihood of your family at stake?

Learn from others to create a blend of best.

The approach taken by Karina Rehavia, founder and CEO of Brazil-based Ollo, brings ideas and shows the potential. The Kantian imperative drives her management style — treat others as they would wish to be treated. “We all want to feel protected, respected, to belong, and to earn responsibly,” she noted. “We only have each other, which is now particularly important as many people are on the verge of a mental breakdown.”

Set the stage for the future of sustainable work.

Sustainable development has been suggested to promote healthier organizations and to find a balance between ever-changing working conditions and workers’ well-being. Today’s work culture of “always-on,” demanding job requirements and negative leadership styles are creating unsustainable workplaces that can harm people’s sense of well-being. Even before the pandemic, 83% of U.S. workers reported suffering from work-related stress, causing 120,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Young people report more stress than their elders.

Passionate about encouraging human sustainability and equal access at work. Collector and connector of people and ideas.