Work burnout is a state similar to depression: weakness, fatigue, and a low mood.


Reading time: 4 minutes

To perform better and grow further

Work burnout is a state similar to depression: weakness, fatigue, and a low mood. A barista can succumb to this condition due to repetitive work, fatigue, or daily interaction with a large number of people.

It is easier to overcome burnout before you start hiding from work altogether, so it is important to identify the onset of this condition.

We have prepared an article about the early stage of burnout and shared recommendations on how to prevent its development. We based our article on the insights of Sean Opaiysa, a coach at the Red Band Barista Academy.

Signs of early-stage burnout

Often, people start searching for information about burnout when the problem has already taken hold. However, we recommend focusing on prevention rather than treatment. To do this, baristas should self-assess for the following signs on a weekly basis.

Negative reaction to ordinary things.

You have started sarcastically commenting on your work and getting irritated over trivial matters. It's normal to be in a bad mood occasionally, but if it persists for a long time, it's worth being alert.

Sense of increasing fatigue.

You work throughout the day without inspiration and feel a profound exhaustion after your shift. This situation remains unchanged even after the weekends.


Feeling constant anxiety and discomfort.

You notice persistent discomfort such as stomach discomfort, insomnia, and unexplained headaches. Sometimes it may be due to a cold, but if this condition has been haunting you for a long time, stress is likely the cause.

The early signs of burnout creep into your life unnoticed, so it is important to identify them in a timely manner and prevent them from becoming the norm. Neglected issues affect both your health and work performance.

Sense of increasing fatigue.

If fatigue has become your constant companion, it may be burnout.

Why did it happen and what to do about it

When you know the causes of burnout, it becomes easier to eliminate them and avoid similar situations in the future.

Reason 1: Loss of interest in work

Day after day, a barista performs the same actions: preparing coffee, serving and presenting cups, and providing guest assistance. The work can seem dull and repetitive.

What to do: To prevent this process, challenge yourself every day:

  • Try to learn new coffee brewing methods or latte art techniques.
  • Seek constructive criticism and work on improving your skills.
  • Strive to make each cup perfect instead of mechanically preparing them day after day.

Reason 2: Stagnation in professional growth

Sometimes it may seem that the role of a barista has been fully mastered: making good coffee becomes automatic, latte art turns out perfect, and you feel like you know all the nuances of coffee preparation. It seems like there's nothing more to learn.

What to do: Dive deeper into a new realm of knowledge:

  • Set a goal to explore the entire coffee production chain: cultivation, harvesting, processing, roasting, and brewing.
  • Learn about the unique coffee preparation methods in different countries.
  • Attend professional coffee events, participate in competitions, and challenge yourself as a speaker.
  • Constantly learning and mastering new things is an excellent defense against burnout.

Reason 3: Lack of self-confidence

Both beginners and experienced baristas occasionally experience self-doubt. Some processes may not go as planned, such as coffee brewing faster or being over-extracted. These minor setbacks can affect your mood. If they persist, it can lead to disappointment in oneself and the profession as a whole.

What to do: Whenever possible, try not to get upset and perceive these challenges as opportunities for growth:

  • Discuss the problem with colleagues. Their advice might help you overcome it.
  • Watch videos on YouTube related to this topic.
  • Practice every day. Remember, perfection always takes time. Don't let temporary difficulties hinder your progress.

Discuss the problem with colleagues. Their advice might help you overcome it.

And if your colleagues can't help with advice, they will surely make you laugh.

Reason 4: Lack of purpose

What results do you want to achieve in your work? How do you want to develop in the field—deepen your expertise or broaden your horizons? Can you envision yourself in this industry five years from now? If you don't have answers to these questions, it's easy to lose sight of the meaning behind your activities.

What to do: Reflect on the aspects of your work that bring you the most pleasure and those that you dislike. Perhaps it's worth focusing on the former and letting go of the latter. Will your position change as a result?

There are numerous career development options:

  • Continue working as a barista but choose a specialization and delve into it, then participate in competitions and achieve top rankings.
  • Become a café manager.
  • Open your own coffee shop.
  • Provide consulting services to other coffee shops during their opening phase.
  • Embark on work in a laboratory and explore coffee from a scientific perspective.
  • Become a certified trainer or instructor at a barista school.
  • Become a roaster.

Listen to yourself and figure out what you want from your profession. Define your goal, create a plan to achieve it, and start implementing it.

Burnout is just a phase, and it will pass.

Burnout is just a phase, and it will pass

In any endeavor, there are periods when you feel a decline. The key is to prevent it from progressing. If work no longer brings you joy, take control of the situation.

  1. Remember your goal—what kind of professional do you want to be and what role you want to play in the industry.
  2. Find ways to make your profession interesting—take on new challenges and solve them.
  3. Perceive difficulties as a new level of growth—learn from them and overcome them.

These actions will help you rediscover your love for your profession and uncover new horizons for yourself.

Baristas burnout in coffee shops FAQ

Burnout is a state of exhaustion and decreased motivation that can affect anyone, including baristas in coffee shops. It is characterized by feelings of fatigue, apathy, and a decline in performance.

Early signs of burnout can include negative reactions to ordinary things, increasing fatigue despite rest, and a constant sense of anxiety or discomfort.

Baristas can overcome a loss of interest by exploring new brewing methods, embracing constructive feedback, and focusing on making each cup of coffee perfect. They can also consider diversifying their skills and responsibilities, taking on new challenges, and finding ways to make their profession more engaging and fulfilling.

Baristas who feel stuck in their professional growth can delve into new areas of knowledge related to coffee, such as exploring the entire coffee production chain or learning about coffee traditions in different countries. They can also participate in professional coffee events, competitions, and consider sharing their expertise as speakers or instructors.

The duration of burnout can vary depending on the individual and the actions taken to address it. With proactive measures, such as self-care, seeking support, and making necessary changes, burnout can be overcome within a reasonable period of time. However, it is essential to prioritize well-being and continuously manage stress to prevent its recurrence.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.