Tech & Work
Working in tech offers numerous benefits, which may range from ongoing learning opportunities to problem-solving challenges to a hefty paycheck. But on the flip side, IT jobs often entail a lot of pressure, generating stress and leading to burnout. This ebook looks at some of the best ways to prevent, manage, and counteract IT job stress.
From the ebook:
Whether we admit it or not, most of us have experienced burnout at some point. For me, this is usually a feeling of productivity paralysis: an inability to start, advance, or complete any project on my docket, and a feeling I can best describe as bemused dread as deadlines slip and the queue relentlessly fills while I watch like a dumbstruck bystander. In the best case, this is a single day affair, easily cured by ending the day and waking to a new one. However, like many others, I’ve also experienced multi-week versions of these feelings that result in negative career impacts and a deepening sense of ineffectiveness and depression. Here are some tips for recovering from burnout.
A change of some sort, even if completely unrelated to your work, can often help provide a psychological “jolt” that breaks the burnout cycle. In the simplest case, stopping what you’re doing, putting your mobile phone away, and taking a long walk might be the cure. For more insidious forms of burnout, consider changing your diet, adding or changing an exercise routine, delegating or abandoning a project, taking a long vacation, or in a particularly insidious case of burnout, changing job roles or employers.
Too much work is a sure recipe for burnout, and in times of stress it’s tempting to bring everything in-house and try to micromanage key tasks to maintain a sense of control over their outcome. However, this only increases your workload and exacerbates the problems of burnout. Take a hard look at the tasks you’re managing on a daily basis and identify ones you can readily delegate, even if there could be some startup time while you transition them and oversee someone who might require some initial handholding.
Seek trusted (and honest) advice
Sometimes the best cure for burnout is a sense of perspective, encouragement, or even the verbal equivalent of a swift kick in the pants. Seek a friend, spouse, family member, or colleague who is not in your area and share your challenges and ask for their honest assessment. Things may not be as bad as they seem, and merely vocalizing your challenges can often be the first step to overcoming them. Avoid sharing with subordinates or those experiencing similar feelings of burnout. With the former, you’ll appear to be complaining and with the latter, you run the risk of joining a pity party that only deepens your sense of dismay.