Burnout

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720359

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Burnout

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    I've suffered burnout on a number of occasions. I don't recognise the phases as suggested in the quoted article. Once I suffered and it was down to the business owner's irresponsible, unreasonable and illegal behaviours (as proved by him settling - of course, without prejudice) and twice I have by self-driven desire for projects to succeed. After one of these I had a month of sleep broken up by dozing in the dressing gown on the sofa.

    It isn't healthy but it isn't always easy to recognise. Harder still is when it is recognised and you are unsure what to do about it.

    I have been lucky as being a freelancer and being overworked usually buys time off at the end of a project. Employees are usually just rolled onto the next project.

    Key things: tell your boss you are struggling, tell them you are still committed and tell them you want assistance. They will either be supportive or you should be looking for a new boss.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004484

    Kendra's list doesn't match what I went through either. It's useful, but it shouldn't be used for diagnosis.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • david.wright-948385

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4028

    I don't know what to say - I just can't take it any more!! :hehe:

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125094

    It's easy to walk away from a job when you're young, your coworkers are difficult, and the pay is low. In that situation there is no internal conflict and debate, leaving is the natural next step.

    What's difficult is later in life, when the job pays well, you're working with folks you genuinely like, but you're just bored with the position.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • DavidL

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3580

    Eric M Russell (2/9/2015)


    It's easy to walk away from a job when you're young, your coworkers are difficult, and the pay is low. In that situation there is no internal conflict and debate, leaving is the natural next step.

    What's difficult is later in life, when the job pays well, you're working with folks you genuinely like, but you're just bored with the position.

    Completely agree with this. It is one reason why the prescriptive kind of lists such as Kendra's, and even more fundamentally the assumption that Stage 5 (Resignation or however she characterized it) is to be avoided at all costs, should be taken with a grain of salt. Work can be the core of one's life, or it can be something that makes many other things possible, or a fluid combination of the two (with other factors as well!). There may be periods where you have no particular ambitions at your job other than keeping it, and that is good enough.

    I work in a manufacturing plant, producing a very traditional product. The process is NOT like IT where every 5 years there is a 'paradigm shift', with all the attendant new technologies, etc. Things change, but in a much more measured way, at least compared to IT. Of course the company is part of the larger economy and we do change our systems, both for our own purposes and to more or less keep up with the world at large. Perhaps I'm out of touch, but there are plenty of industries and companies where one is not compelled to be always ON -- just to be working away doing a good job.

  • EdVassie

    SSC Guru

    Points: 60274

    One thing I noticed after going through burnout is that some thing I used to cope with were just not happening anymore. After being very rigorous on deadlines and sometimes working silly hours to meet them, I can now watch one coming and going with very little concern.

    My view is that you should treat this type of change in much the same way you might treat the loss of a hand. Do not expect you can work in exactly the same way as before. Get used to the changes, and work round them. If you do try to carry on in the same way you did before this will keep hitting a pain point you can no longer deal with.

    In my case I became more careful about accepting an unreasonable workload, and also being careful about monitoring progress so deadlines could be rearranged before they passed. This got round the problem most of the time, but where this did not work the deadlines came and went...

    Life can be good after a burnout, and you can still do high-quality work and get promoted. Just be honest with your capabilities and make the most of them.

    Original author: https://github.com/SQL-FineBuild/Common/wiki/ 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2019, 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005.

    When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor they call me a communist - Archbishop Hélder Câmara

  • MrCoastline2

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 170

    There was a multi-year period where I went through a transition in my life and lost the passion for technology that had fueled my life and felt my skills became outdate and technology had finally past me by. Not a burnout experience, but during that period there was depression and confusion. I got lucky to find a job that allowed me the room to relearn and grown once again. After much hard work and meandering, I have once again found that passion again rooted in SQL technology.

    If I ever work somewhere where things were too stagnate or negative or I couldn’t grow or learn, I would move on. You should never feel stuck in any job/career.

    I agree that Kendra's ACTION step is very important; there is something you can do about it. It has been immensely valuable to invest in myself daily and set aside time for personal learning. I dedicate time each day to read newsletter, learn something new and practice a new skill or technology. When you are passionate and knowledgeable people recognize this. However, if there is no passion or curiosity for what you are learning, it will be more difficult and you are probably forcing yourself to do something you don’t like.

    I also have to strongly commend Steve Jones voice of the DBA. Many of his topics continue to make me step back and think about the personal issues and struggles we all face every day in our careers.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    EdVassie (2/9/2015)


    One thing I noticed after going through burnout is that some thing I used to cope with were just not happening anymore. After being very rigorous on deadlines and sometimes working silly hours to meet them, I can now watch one coming and going with very little concern.

    My view is that you should treat this type of change in much the same way you might treat the loss of a hand. Do not expect you can work in exactly the same way as before. Get used to the changes, and work round them. If you do try to carry on in the same way you did before this will keep hitting a pain point you can no longer deal with.

    In my case I became more careful about accepting an unreasonable workload, and also being careful about monitoring progress so deadlines could be rearranged before they passed. This got round the problem most of the time, but where this did not work the deadlines came and went...

    Life can be good after a burnout, and you can still do high-quality work and get promoted. Just be honest with your capabilities and make the most of them.

    True.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • xsevensinzx

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 25558

    It's also difficult to walk away from a job where you are the sole person to making everything work. Although it's not wise from a business perspective, sometimes a business can't afford two of you. And if you do your job well enough, sometimes the business is not quick enough to duplicate you.

    So, there are times when you are that person who drives everything. Where you feel there is a heavy weight strapped to your ankles. Where if you left because you are not happy anymore or just burned out, you feel even worse because the business could suffer. It's that trapped feeling where some people enjoy the job security, but others feel they have just painted themselves into a corner.

    But regardless, I've seen a lot of people burnout in the software industry. Most of the time it's due to being overworked, little rewards and no excitement from their leadership. Being I've seen this in the software industry, most of the cases it's the programmers who are stretched pretty thin among multiple projects.

    As a newbie to database development, the playing with data is enough to keep me excited and moving forward. I also think the fact of learning more about databases and SQL Server has kept a fire under my seat too. I feel challenged and I feel there is still a lot to learn.

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75374

    Ever come back from leave to find that the absolutely imperative world stopping problem your leave would create seems not to have happened?

    The danger of believing you are not young enough anymore is that you can segue into believing you are not good enough anymore. How many people do you know who have massive self belief and seemingly very little to justify that belief? How are they getting on? Smart car? High salary?

    If you are genuinely a DBA then you are going to be above average intelligence, meticulous and reliable, possibly with a perfectionist streak. There are always companies who want that. Don't let perfectionism become a stick for self flagellation.

    If you go on a decent management training course then two particular things they teach is how to say no and how to prioritise and delegate. Another point is to keep emotion out of any work discussions. Emotion is the corporate equivalent of blood in the water to sharks. It is tricky because your passion for your subject probably triggers your emotional response. The instant that happens you will lose half your audience and probably the half you most need to listen.

  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    Eric M Russell (2/9/2015)


    It's easy to walk away from a job when you're young, your coworkers are difficult, and the pay is low. In that situation there is no internal conflict and debate, leaving is the natural next step.

    What's difficult is later in life, when the job pays well, you're working with folks you genuinely like, but you're just bored with the position.

    A desire to leave can be for any reason, but as you have stated, later in life is far more difficult.

  • chrisn-585491

    SSCoach

    Points: 15896

    Hey!

    I'm in Phase 5.

    :w00t:

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