How did you get burnout and how did you recover?
Mine: I founded and led a startup for years that ultimately ran out of cash. Instead of taking a break I jumped straight into a cross country move and a high pressure engineering management role in a new super fucked up organization that almost immediately started imploding: massive overwork, endless project cancellations, team reshuffling, etc. Did that for a year and I’m so burned out I can’t even get out of bed to go to work anymore. Planning to just resign.
How did you get burnout and how did you recover?
- Amazon poorrepmoreI was in consulting for many years and was working multiple clients at any given time. During one week, I remember clocking 85 hours and that went on for months. Then, they asked me start traveling, so I started traveling on Sundays, so I could make it to the client site by Monday. 2 years went by like this, with 1 day in the weekend. I went to the doctor and she said I’d gained weight, had high blood pressure and borderline cholesterol. I came home that day and sent an email to the partner saying that week would be my last week. Best decision I ever made! A month later, the partner got fired because of the burnout on the team. Moral of the story: don’t be an idiot and put yourself through that.
- Aon Hewitt winter 123Truthfully it depends on the client and project. A lot of times on the way they sell it as well. I've had clients who do not want us to go over 40 hours and then I've had "critical" deadlines where we worked long hours and the clients didn't care about the cost. Definitely don't over work yourself not worth it.
- Microsoft / ProductBrazukamoreMy story is similar at Bain, had a terrible WLB, hated the micromanaging. Best thing that ever happened to me was them not sponsoring my MBA. I got a scholarship almost immediately, had 2 awesome years away from that mess and now have a cool job which I have great autonomy and impact while maintaining a fantastic lifestyle.Feb 245
- Amazon poorrepmore@sogone Helps everyone, trust me. Given our risk averse culture and how we are taught to have no gaps in our resume, I think the modern workforce needs to question those things and put themselves first. If you need the time, take it. Smart companies shouldn’t want a workforce that’s burnt out!
- An incompetent manager can cause burnout too. Not setting clear expectations, not supporting your growth, making chaotic decisions leaving you constantly running at the same spot wondering what he / she wants when they aren't really give a shit about you.
- I lost a couple of people from my family within two years and almost all my emotional support and plans about the future gone with their sudden deaths as well. I have been so lonely and lost my bonds with life since then and the recovery is too slow and painful. I thought that I was prepared for everything in life but it looks like I wasn't. The hardest thing is that no one gives a shit and they still expect you deliver stuff and be cheerful etc. I have a newborn now and things are getting better but still the life feels like lots of meaningless shit to me.
- I tried several ssris, benzos based on the recommendation from my psychiatrist, as well as amphetamines and lots of therapy sessions. They made things even worse. I think it is best to take a long break and let your body adjust itself. I couldn't do that because they pay only %75 of your income when you are on leave but, as my salary were already on the lower side (lvl 61), I struggled and I'm still struggling financially. That makes healing process even slower. I started to understand how some people end up homeless after long term illnesses.Feb 2317
- Hey there, just want to say keep up the exercise. Whether you like it or not, the deamons will always be there my friend. Through loneliness and through happiness. No drug will solve the problem and it’s just a bandaid (as is exercise). But remember that you are human, and humans have experienced death since time started and look at humanity today. Don’t ever give up on investing in yourself, face those inner demons/running thoughts, work out, eat right, drink water, and repeat.
I know we are not all fortunate enough to have the luxury of leisurely time, so I implore you not to waste yours! You can be the best human that you ever knew. It’s still fucking in there. Don’t let that guy go.
Good luck, we are here.Feb 2318
- This is really difficult stuff. My heart goes out to you. Been there - but allow yourself some time and space to recover. Take it an hour at a time if need be. There are several ways to find support - try them out and see what makes you the most comfortable. But meanwhile please remember - this too shall pass. Better days will be here.
- Indeed / PRCDwY37Sorry you had to go through this. It’s a long painful process and sometimes nothing seems to work. It’s been almost two years since my traumatic experience and I still struggle day in day out. I lost my job because of it and am looking for a job while partially care taking for my parent who is recently diagnosed of cancer. It’s a dark tunnel, sometimes I just want to take a rest but I know I can’t. It will be different eventually, it just takes time I guess.
- Box wheatbran@osama I can relate to your situation. I lost some of my best fallback and support in the family in past five years. I have been feeling depressed for about two years now.
Occasionally I get triggered in wierd ways like I started crying when a feature which I was working on got assigned to another employee. I won't have ever imagined that I will be this sensitive to such trivial stuff.
I keep reminding myself that this is trivial and I should get over it.
On the plus side : I have never been able to relate to those people who get upset on small stuff or keep remembering years old deaths and grievances. After these episodes I feel more compassionate towards them. I wonder if all this experience is God's way of teaching me empathy towards the people whose behavior I haven't been able to logically understand.Feb 246
- Facebook Ux35jhI work at Facebook. Must say that it is the most stressful job I ever have.
- Facebook fooodyAlso a SWE at fb. Been here for 2.5 years and all I can say is that it HIGHLY depends on your team. My old team was a shit show regarding WLB. Everyone worked 60+ hours and weekends. My new team is super chill, I don’t work more than 35h/week with the same ratings. (Both teams in core app)
- I was tired of working my ass off for stupid ad tech so I quit my job to work on rockets and now I am even more burnt out lol
- I signed up for the pain in trade for a cool life experience and being able to contribute to something I like (progress in space exploration, not musk). I knew I would burn out eventually. But i'm half joking about burning out, so far I'm more or less OK. But it wasn't exactly a good career move..lol. More like career sacrifice, like spending a couple years in the Peace corps or something
- Microsoft innocentTo burnout, you need to put the transmission into D, hold the footbrake down as firmly as possible, build up the revs of the car by pushing the throttle pedal.
- Microsoft Etxz24I work about 50-60 hours per week and I'm taking 21 credit hours this semester to try amd finish my undergrad.
Im a cloud architect. Kill me please.
- I kept on saying “this is fine, this is how it goes, just keep doing your best”. My mind was that puppy, standing in the burning room saying “this is fine”.
My body stopped working though. It got sick. Really sick. It just didn’t like what I was doing at all. It didn’t like any of it and would shut down randomly. They called it “panic”. I wasn’t panicking. I was fine. My body made me dizzy. My body made me feel like I was dying. My body made me scared that my time on earth was ending.
But my mind was just confused. What the hell is happening to me? My mind had the will, the drive, the desire. My body said stop.
So I stopped. 12 weeks medical leave. Tai chi, nature walks. Relaxation. I’ve been ok since. But it was bad. The worst part is, I would still be going if my body didn’t start going into fight or flight.
- I lost my job, and took an honest assessment of what I was doing. I realized I let recruiters source me to jobs I didn’t want even through they were well compensated. Then I would work round the clock at these jobs while being miserable because it was what I was “supposed” to do and I was “lucky” to have the opportunity. The next recruiting season I interviewed people as much as they interviewed me, turned down interviews for jobs I didn’t want, and focused 100% only on opportunities I had high interest in. I also didn’t let recruiters source me to jobs I didn’t want by making it clear what I wanted to interview for. I’m thankful it worked.
P.s I also stopped working for a full year to recenter myself during this time and focused on spending time with my family because I had neglected them for the past 3 years.
- Currently having a constant level of stress that is both specific and vague at the same time. All the work I do seems over complicated at every level and whenever I attempt to bring it up it gets brushed off as perfectly normal. This leads me to thinking that it’s just me that “doesn’t get it” which adds more stress. I try to study more and improve at my job, but the more I learn the more I am convinced that things at work are way more complicated than they need to be. Project roadmaps are way too strict, requirements for tasks are vague and almost never account for any possible errors. Business rules are defined but not really documented only passed along view meeting notes. So I am constantly asking why we are doing things this way, but everyone keeps saying that it’s a good process, so I basically feel stupid for not understanding, stressed out because of frustration, and stuck because I fear working here has quite literally made me worse at what I do so I am trapped.
- Microsoft hollygoatWhen you don’t fit, it is not because you are stupid. Everyone has a fit and I have seen too many cases of lower performer here becoming a rockstar there. Different teams within the same company or Microsoft to Google. All of the low performers at Microsoft were promoted fast when they moved to Google. Everyone has a fit if they have above average work ethic and brain. Just need to explore.Feb 264
- This makes sense. The idea of being elsewhere definitely makes sense. The problem for me is that I was never a low performer on my team. Quite the opposite. I just did all of that while being frustrated and feeling stupid. If I am being really honest, I didn’t really notice this stuff or the feeling of burnout at all. Not until I started dreading going into work or when I stopped asking questions or giving my opinion on things. I just did whatever work was put in front of me and left. After a little while it all sort of hit me like a brick to the head. It has been difficult to deal with as it has very seriously affected my confidence in my ability even though I can obviously see that my work has not suffered, but as it goes emotional damage does not really have to follow any logical rules, it just exists until you find a way to deal with it.
So I would definitely like to be elsewhere, but I’m not really in a good enough place to interview right now. I have tried and I have just completely frozen up when given problems that I am entirely capable of answering or walking through. I begin to second guess myself a lot and by the time I realize I have been silent for just long enough to make it awkward. This is what gave me a clue that I might be fighting with fatigue or burnout.Feb 263
- eBay vtaThe only remedy for burnout is step back. Working hard would not solve, step back don't mean quit.. care bit less about thing make you burnout, take a vacation and tune off, switch team. I never seen anyone burnout due to work load, it's shit loaded management and co-worker or no right accountability, which hardworking cannot solve. Once you recover from burnout you will have better view to handle your situation. Burnout is not productive for both health and work. Care for yourself first, Your CEO will not die if something happened to your product or project you are working, but your beloved may if something happened to you.
- I have never been committed to a company enough to think much about what the ceo wants. Unless I have a direct incentive to put in more than reasonable amount of extra work it generally doesn’t go that way. I always value my life over work, that’s part of why the things I am experiencing now took me by surprise. It definitely sucks.
As for the interview process, I don’t mind it being difficult. It makes sense that it is. It just sucks to freeze up because of self doubt. That’s all on me.Feb 272
- Microsoft BlueScreenLeft MSFT for a startup after 10 years. That lasted several years, and was bought out by....MSFT! Wound up back here again ( at least I didn’t have to interview!!!!!). But that itch is back.
- We have great pay and great Work/Life balance. And we are hiring.
PM me and I will refer you.
- Google QCNY71I have had strep throat for two months, someone dude at work is trying to take credit for my work during perf, worked 10+ hour days the past two q's covering for someone on maternity leave and doing my full time job. I cant go on. #rantover
- I was very close to burnout some years ago. Worked 80+ hours, studied in parallel, had a shit relationship that time and worked even Sundays and Saturdays. So one day I didn’t feel anything...nothing could motivate me to work, not even the money.
I took 5 weeks off and recovered slowly over a year. But I had to learn to be focused on one single thing at a time. It was a really hard learning and bad time. Spent hours and hours in the woods and walked...walked...and walked...that helped me a lot.
However, even though it‘s been years ago it‘s still not completely fixed as things like money or cars (what i loved much) can‘t really motivate me. Things that have been fun are now somehow boring. But i‘m recovered and successful in my role. I spend 2-4 hours a day with work...and it seems to be enough. I put myself first...and still looking for the real reason why i‘m on this planet. One thing that I know for sure is that it‘s not because of a shitty job and helping others to get rich!
Take your time to recover!
- I got help from a physician and read a few inspiring books. From Tony Robbins to others. That helped me to realize that high expectations and perfectionism paired with loads of work lead to burnout. This time opened my eyes...while I felt burned out I started to realize that there are much more things which are worth to live. And guess what, it‘s not the job and the money! I felt that deeply for the very first time. Before, I was just thinking it‘s all about the money...and I need to chase it. What a mistake. Since then i‘m chasing my dreams and left money chasing behind...interesting is even though I don‘t really chase it i feel richer than before, and looking at my bank account gives me the same feeling. My advice: ask yourself what you wanna do and accomplish in your life apart of having a well paid job. I‘m still in the process but i‘m closer to the answer than ever before. And btw. It has nothing to do with the age I guess. I was around 30 when it happened.
- Zendesk bbtmtMy crypto side project took off at the same time I switched job. I had no choice but to make it a startup with registered company name. One of my pals from the side project went full time on it but I stayed with my old(new) company. The company's work is very balanced but as a new comer I had a lot of learnings to do. Other than that I spent all my free time supporting my pal on the startup and sometimes had to go to oversea conferences as well. Life was hell until the whole crypto space (kinda) died at the end of last year. A blessing in disguise.
- For me, it’s right now. Rebuilding my 4th team/org in 2 years, have 2 very young children at home, wife works as much as I do and we both are stressed to the max with travel and single parenting often. It’s recently become clear that although we’re both innately driven people, we’ve been sacrificing in all the wrong places. Life is just too short and this work isn’t worth it.
- Oracle ora-911because of people like you working your ass off and screwing your life and of those around you these companies expect everone to be like you guys. just slow down and enjoy life. you are not going live till hundred and even if you do majority of that remaining life till 100 you will live like a vegetable. slow down and learn to say no to your companies to stop sucking your blood.
- Stack-ranking arrived at Splunk in 2017. Now we’re told by HR to be all kumbaya collaborating with our peers while they figure out which dagger to slip between your ribs at annual review time.
Burnout is caused by the universal rat-race. I think Jeff Immelt is the one who foisted this zero-sum virus on us.
- I was a designer at a well know fashion retailer for a few years. After being there for 5 months, my boss left and his boss became my direct supervisor. She got seriously sick for a few months, and me and another designer were basically left to run the show on our own. I remember staying at work until 12:00 am almost everyday for a few months just trying to finish the work we had to make it in time for gift set release. We would show multiple rounds of designs to the merchants, and spent hours mocking up the renderings, to have them disapproved. We didn’t really have much support, and no one at work understood what we went through. We would often skip dinner because our company was so far from dining areas and it was in the dead of winter. I just remember feeling very undervalued and felt like a workhorse. There wasn’t bonuses or overtime for the additional work we did.. It was a miserable time in my life that I would never like to revisit. I was only a junior designer making 45k at the time. Needless to say, I learned a lot of skills from this experience and am super quick on illustrator and photoshop now hah
- IBM / EngskiddiemoreKubernetes. It's the same half dozen people, since I started. The core team on API and kubelet and kubectl are always complaining about being overloaded, yet they never on board new people. It was after I left that I learned that was intentional and by design. They never wanted people other than that to be making decisions.
Luckily with CRDs you can own your own API and dump the bullshit status and spec ideosyncracies.
- My burn out story is so traumatic that I'm paranoid that if I post it I'll be identified and get fired.
- Every single project i worked at Amazon in last 2 year has been a burnt out story
- 5 years at a startup that had a successful acquisition exit. After multiple burnouts, I took a medical leave, didn’t do anything until I fully decompressed. Then I assessed my personal and professional priorities including what were core stressors, made a plan, came back to the old job and interviewed internally and externally for over 6 months (I was selective to make sure what led to burnout was not repeated at the next job). I was monitoring my state every week with medical professionals. The joy of learning new opportunities and meeting new people at interviews got me going. It was critical to feel that I was in control, too.
Found an external role that matched my needs, including career growth opportunity. Negotiated for a future starting date, took 2 months off and traveled. Moved to a new city for a new job (this is not for everyone; I had enough friends in the new city), and this time I started with a careful balancing act between work and personal life.
I am still figuring it out. I have become better at protecting the wlb boundaries, scope of work, detecting early symptoms and acting to prevent burnout. Still, inside I am a workaholic. But I do go home at 5-6pm nowadays, and I try my best to sleep better.
- I had some IT experience years ago and then had to do nonsense bioscience research for years while waiting for my gc. After that I join a big tech company as a senior without much experience in distributed system and modern software development. I was literally working my ass off the first half year nonstop while being questioned/threatened by managers leads coworkers and to the point I cried in front one of them. I knew I need a break but I just can’t otherwise years effort is wasted and I would have to go back to ground 0. Eventually I pulled away and I’m ready for more challenges
- I had experience before and some experience in traditional company doing software before joining and did well in the interview. I have always been a hard worker and I know I needed to work very hard so I just pressed the pedal all the way down because that’s my best chance to get into sv it’s worth it so far. I knew I was able to do it just needed a bit more time. I also blamed a manager and a lead for their inexperience as they themselves are also incompetent in those positions so the whole thing did not go exactly as I had planned
- StubHub Sabrina👻When I dated multiple people at one time .Was exhausting .Ghosted everyone to recover .
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- Gartner praetorI spent three years dividing my time between cities on two continents, a 14 hour plane ride apart. Three weeks in each city on a trip, but one thing was constant: 60 hours a week was my baseline, and it only went up from there.
After 3.years of that I had more than enough. Fortunately for me, one of my "Bucket list" jobs fell out of the sky and got me off that treadmill, but if it hadn't, I was probably six months tops from a mental breakdown or heart attack.
- Amazon / EngFreeBeesJoined a startup while at school. Worked days without sleep. Then joined a super aggressive company after school. Fell seriously ill. Realized that I did not want to kill myself and set ground rules for what I care about and how much time I would work for. Did another startup but this time was careful and respectful of my time and health. The startup did moderately well - way better than the one that I burned out at. Haven’t felt burnout in a decade now! Ok I feel a little proud of myself for having done that!
- I guess still recovering in the first year.
Worked 5 years under chaotic management working long hours but it was a good excuse for being tired all the time so I can with it.
Find out I have narcolepsy and got dropped like a hot iron. Didn't even have time to finish documenting or anything.
No problem. I'll just get a job in like a month? Almost. They would have hired me as a remote w/o a hard schedule to work around med issues. Buuuut, they ran into issues at the same time. Poked around and found it wasn't an excuse, I just got damn unlucky.
Since then I've just been doing what it takes, chasing contracts, calling about a year wait for unemployment, emptying savings, etc. Ride sharing while taking naps after each ride. Overnight for more cash. Still daytime responsibilities. Hard to fit in but try. Upset everyone.
Then I ran over a screw and that tire is basically gone. So I'm screeeeewed hahahahahahahaha *plop*
- Cox Communications zoink99If you are being overworked, you can get a doctor's note to give you paid leave. I worked for a start up arm of a major company. Underresourced and had a slave driver, psychopath boss. Literally....he had every symptom. Couldn't take a day off, worked nights, weekends non stop, took on day off and my boss and greedy direct report stabbed me in the back the same week. She applied for my job originally. He left a note on my chair with 30 bs grievances. I snapped. Brain was shutdown in the morning. Couldn't fill out paperwork at Dr. office without bursting into tears. It was like my brain gridlocked. Couldnt drive a car, use the computer for about a month. Had to go back to work one month later. Good news is when you get PTSD, they can't hurt you anymore cause damage is done. Was emotionally numb for a year and survived until I could get laid off and get severance. He got promoted. I got back in under different group in company and eventually got promoted. Learned my lesson. Work life balance is critical. Been 5 years and I'm still not recovered. Brain doesn't work as well as it used to.
- Intel dravenWorked till 2 am in the mornings on weekends too. 70+ hours week, I thought I could prove my worth but it all went to shit. The design team took all the credit. I was in the validation team ( designing in validation) but 0 credits given. My boss didn’t know shit about what I worked on so he was of no help. All unrealistic deadlines.. like can you make a software by tomorrow? Wtf
No raise, no rsu. Had to gtfo eventually. This was my old company
- My burnout is still in progress.
20+ years at an international company that decided to enforce an Agile strategy across all divisions. Finally in a position to make change in my department, and they RIP the rug from under me, telling me we have to take on more work from RIFd divisions, but cant grow the team, so I'm expected to make deadlines with no additional help. Lost one team member and I'm told I cant replace them locally, must hire outside of the country... and then when I do put in the request for hire, its dragged out almost a year. I'm doing my job plus the job of 2 other people, with no recognition and no compensation for me or my team. Its company wide and we've lost so many talented people. It's sad.
- Amazon Gjdyveycc4Was in one of my previous company. Shitty org. Most of my co workers enjoyed the unlimited PTOs, we had a support team who were never able to work on issues. I had to work for dev, support, architecture, TPM, sdm, etc. in multiple projects within and outside org(due to niche skills). Got promoted very fast though but I still left on the day of my promotion to join next venture.
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