Burnout in Tech is Real as Fuck (Even at 9–5)
From the outside, it might be peak happiness, but in reality, the dream job doesn’t exist because work sucks
No matter what, you’ll never be really satisfied with any type of role. The nature of work in its current state is to drain you. Ideally, you would be able to power through until your services are no longer required and go to die.
Life Sucks and Then You Die… — Vince McMahon
Pro-wrestling gave us so many life lessons, yet we argue about kayfabe.
This is why burnout exists. It doesn’t come from a shitty boss who works you eighty-hour weeks or working in a bad environment. Work in itself burns out individuals.
What happens when you apply a new field to it?
Burning the Brain
I wanted to write this article during the recession, AKA rich people can’t lose money, and we earn the opportunity to do so. It’s important to stop being overly grateful to have a job—only the employer benefits from this mentality, not you.
I’ve seen countless engineers drag their feet daily because they’re happy to have a job. It pains me because I don’t want to barge in with grandiose ideals. They have bills to pay and, most likely, mouths to feed. It’s going to be hard to justify dying on a hill when other casualties are going to occur. However, this massive negative feedback loop leads to further mental health problems, meltdowns, or death in the inner individual.
Tech burnout is a brain beatdown, so at least you can walk outside once a month.
The nature of software work is heavily research, design, thinking about things, and finally implementing. Other parts include meetings and typing shit in multiple Slack channels until you find the correct one.
Believe it or not, it’s kind of exhausting to do this cycle over and over again. Add on top of a company’s unique corporate quirks, and it gets downright depressing at times. You’ll be experiencing a lot of Déjà vu when you have a dream about sitting at your company writing code or attending a meeting.
Why don’t you have these thoughts being outside looking down a waterfall or screaming at teenagers in Counter-Strike?
This exact monotonous routine of writing code, code review, and deploying with the extras will break us down at some capacity. Everyone is different in how they handle it, whether it’s art, gym, quitting, finding a new career path, etc.
But it’ll catch up to you.
It can still burn you out if you have a solid role, enjoyment, and a 9–5 gig (the supposed dream). You’re doing something for someone else with no absolute autonomy.
No amount of money, perks, and passion can replace that life you have.
Thanks for the read.