Exhausted and burned out

Oct 29, 2019 12 Comments

After 12ish years as a PM at big companies I got burned out and quit last year. Plan was to just pack it up and move back to my home country and never work again.

But part of me still has an itch to go do cool shit and to make some more money. Same time a FANG recruiter reaches out to me, we do some team matching, they're even talking about skipping the interview and suddenly I get hit with a huge wave of anxiety. I remembered the office drama, writing OKRs, getting myself amped up for presentations that I didn't give a shit about. I panicked and told them I wasn't interested anymore.

Maybe I need to find a new place that's doing something that I'm actually excited about. It's easy to convince yourself that you love working at FANG because you actually love the money. I'm finally at a point in my career where I can demand $500k TC and actually get it, and I just can't bring myself to do it again.

Anyone else get to this point? Managed to reignite your passion somehow? Or managed to care less and just show up for the money?


Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 12 Comments
  • Amazon Elastic BS
    Doing something you're passionate about is important OP. Would it be possible for you to start a consultancy, or do consulting work on the side? That would give you some more timing flexibility and let you pick your projects. TC will likely be much lower than established companies at the start though.
    Oct 29, 2019 2
    • OP
      Where do I even get started with this? I've been a PM at big companies for so long I feel like I don't know where to begin with that kind of hustle.
      Oct 29, 2019
    • Amazon Elastic BS
      I don't have the answers for you there, sorry. Some folks I know did it by reaching out to their networks and getting referrals to startups that could use the help. I imagine most of the trouble would be finding and onboarding clients, do you have any VC connections or incubator friends?
      Oct 29, 2019
  • Dropbox eEmt85
    hey OP, i’m thirteen years into PM at a mix of fang and startups and feeling the same. I planned to leave PM this year to rest and then try a swing at eng (graduated CS), maybe after a boot camp to refresh, but ended up getting tricked into working at a startup again.

    anyway your post totally resonated with me. hit me up and we can chat.
    Oct 29, 2019 0
  • Prudential -asdf-
    Try finding a company that offers better wlb even if it means a 15-20% pay cut. It'll take a while, but those companies do exist. The effects of burnout are lasting and real. Sounds like you also have some anxiety issues?

    Also try yoga/meditation. The key is to not let your job define who you are. Your life encompasses a lot more than just work!
    Oct 29, 2019 2
    • OP
      Thanks, this is really good advice. A few years ago I would have shrugged you off for offering this, but I am coming to the realization that I have anxiety issues and I am working on it.
      Oct 29, 2019
    • AT&T MsdR32
      Might also be worth considering part time jobs.
      Oct 29, 2019
  • Amazon bojackson
    Have you thought about leveraging your skills and experience by helping others and making money off it? For example, providing tutorials, courses around best practices for a PM, or provide consultation to startups and charging a fee for it?
    Oct 29, 2019 0
  • New / Product
    Mary AM

    New Product

    SWE —> PM YoE 15
    Mary AMmore
    It sounds like you are slowly getting ready to come back, but in a different capacity. I think you should catchup with people in your network, not for referrals but just to get a feel for what’s available or possible. Sometimes our imagination needs some nourishing.
    When you are ready, come back and ask ppl here about the WLB thing for specific companies.
    Oct 29, 2019 0
  • Cadence Mariposa
    I am exhausted doing engineering and was debating switching to PM role. 8YOE
    Oct 29, 2019 0
  • I’ll give you my feedback in 15 years
    Oct 29, 2019 0
  • Infosys BRY47
    Your home country could likely use your skills as well, if you want to consider that as an option. Especially true if it’s a developing nation.
    Oct 29, 2019 0


    Real time salary information from verified employees