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You also need to maximize your earnings, minimize your spending, and ensure you have enough runway between jobs (6-12 months) or enough cushion to take some time off when you're burned out. Because you will burn out. Humans are not machinery meant to be run at 110% constantly.



Yeah, taking on this kind of challenging, continuous-learning work is fun... but it's generally only sustainable as long as the total time you put in to both "education" and "work" doesn't exceed full-time.

Trying to negotiate that up-front, though, is hard. Most employers don't like paying much for education and research, and they don't like people who want to work less than full-time, either.


It's tricky. If you have an intelligent employer, they will understand that as a professional, learning is as much part of your job as fixing bugs. If your employer is not intelligent like that, but the company isn't a sweatshop, you probably might be able to "slow down" your ticket crunching a little bit in order to get some directly relevant learning in[0] (that, over time, will actually improve your work results). If your job is a sweatshop, be happy that in this industry it's still relatively easy to change jobs.

--

[0] - not saying use your job time to learn CV-padding stuff; just if you suddenly need to work on a codebase in a language you don't know, don't be afraid to read an actual book instead of minimal amount of StackOverflow answers needed to kill your fist ticket.


Every part of this post is important to understand and internalize. I didn't think it would happen to me (burn out) until it did. Still struggling.


This is bad advice, sorry. Not the financial one I mean, it’s always good to save up some money for bad times, but the “you will burn out” part.

If you think that you will eventually burn out, like in “its just a matter of time”, you should seriously consider switching jobs, work in a less demanding industry, or do something else. There is so much more to life than just this work and nothing keeps you from working just at half the pace. You even might get some different insights from that. Seriously, I don’t want to sound like a total jerk but when this is the approach you choose, it’s going to be needlessly rough.

Your username indicates your attitude, btw. Talk to a friend or professional. Maybe you need some good advice.

edit: spelling


Burnout is very real, and is more prevalent than you might expect [1] ("57% of Tech Workers Are Suffering From Job Burnout").

> you should seriously consider switching jobs, work in a less demanding industry, or do something else

The cognitive dissonance expressed here is...wow. When you have people to support (or even just yourself), you don't just "switch jobs or industries, or do something else" on a whim when you've become burned out. To trivialize the complexity of handling burnout shows a complete lack of understanding what it is like to burn out.

My username is a holdover from an inside joke 20 years ago in my teens, btw. And I don't think I'm the one who needs good advice.

[1] https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/technology/57-percent-...


> you don't just "switch jobs or industries, or do something else" on a whim when you've become burned out

IMHO That's not at all what they're saying. I think they're suggesting making changes long before that, when one hasn't burned out but feels that it is just a matter of time. As far as general suggestion goes (i.e. not directed at you, though it was a reply to you; this is a public forum after all, so you're essentially a stand-in for a wider group of people), I think they're spot on. It may not be relevant to you specifically, since we don't know the details of your situation.


Hey, maybe I've got a blind spot in my thinking. How do you predict that you're going to burn out? It's clear it's an issue in the tech industry based on statistical data (see my above reply citation that almost 60% of tech workers are experiencing burnout), so people are not anticipating it and moving out of tech into less stressful careers, or for whatever reason, they can't move out of tech even if they're already burned out.

Having seen others burn out in both startups and enterprises, in and out of tech, my opinion is that the advice of the person I responded to is not sound.


I don't have a good general answer. But for me personally, when I show early signs of learned helplessness and chronic stress, I need to make changes before I hit the inflection point, or I end up paying a great price. I agree that not everyone has the means to make significant changes to their life.


I appreciate the insight. Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not here to gripe, I'm advocating for mental health and wellbeing. None of this work is going to matter when most of us is dead, and if I'd hazard a guess, it won't even matter five years from now. Take care of yourself first.


> Take care of yourself first.

Very true!

I saw a video about Warren Buffet and he used the analogy of a car. What if you could buy any car you liked, but you only got one car for your life. How would you care for it?

Well, you only get one mind and body (so far as I know). I try to take as good care as I would if I only had one car.


I don't know. I'd prefer to find or build a company that recognizes a sustainable pace, so that I can avoid burnout. Maybe it is where I am at, but I know of at least three in the area (with different benefits and detriments).


Wow relevant username to post ratio


Not to mention access to amphetamines if you're someone like me who burns out easily without them. Fortunately it's completely trivial to get them legally in the US.


Turning to drugs to improve learning performance is bad advice. Note: I don’t say what you do is bad, this is totally up to you. But giving someone else the advice using drugs is just bad.




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