They assume that my passion for code or building things (or whatever it may be) should translate directly into work for them. This is especially true of startups. I'm starting to think that I have had more freedom to do what I want in a boring corporate cube farm. I don't want to work for people that want to own my 20 self-improvement hours anymore.
So a startup should be about doing it your way. Working for a startup just means being another cog, doing it someone else's way, except that you are stuck working insane hours for less money.
Know that you know that, you know how to process data from them.
It's not a problem going to work for idiots. Lots of good people do. It only becomes a problem when you allow them to determine how you feel instead of deciding how to feel yourself.
If you're burnt out at the moment, solve that problem. But don't lay it off on them. They aren't capable of earning that much blame.
If it is your startup that is a different story I think...but I am feeling burnt out and seriously thinking on taking the easy way cause it might be more productive...less of a good story maybe but the goal is still there. And a startup is to reach it...but if it's not your startup it's someone else's tool and well said: you're just another cog.
Then went to MediumCorp where the pay was less because I thought I would be happier with the work and would have more opportunity to contribute. I didn't really find much difference and ended up being unhappy that I was making less.
Now I'm at a new company. I have more influence over my work and no bureaucracy but I'm still trading time for money. One good thing I've learned is how fast they get products out there which has been a good lesson for me.
I've also done freelancing full-time which is better in that I get to set my own hours and work with multiple projects but it is not ideal for me.
After a few years in the workforce, I now think the smart thing to do is to find a job that pays the most amount of money for the least amount of work so that I have lots of time and energy left over for working on my own thing.
I'm not even sure if working for a startup is one of the best ways to recover from burnout, in the early stages of recovery. In many cases, the recipe for curing something is different from the recipe for preventing something. Not coding at all for a few weeks might be a better way to undo some of the damage caused by working in an unmotivating environment than trying to jump into a more intense job.
I see a lot of people advocating taking a vacation for the sake of vacationing (not just recovery) as a way to deal with burnout. While I haven't tried it myself (my last couple of trips were to conferences) I've heard the advice repeated enough that I'm willing to give it a shot.
I think the trick is to take vacation before burnout feelings. Otherwise, you spend a month just staring into a wall.
If you get vacation a bit more often, then you can do something nice instead (travel is always good; try e.g. scuba diving, wind surfing or hang gliding).
That vacation will probably be a memory for life.
(After writing this, I'm going to go book a vacation for February! It will also give me time to get back into functional programming again, I love that it is becoming popular.)
I'm glad I helped you remind yourself to book your vacation. :)
Certainly not my place to judge you but if you're so sick and tired of working for someone else — what are you waiting on? If you think working for a startup is challenging, try being the founder of one. Most people can't cut it outside of ~12-24 months.
Well, what I (think) I am saying is that I have no time or energy for a startup of my own while I'm working at someone else's, and that something has to change to allow me to work towards my own goals. As it is, there are simply no hours left in the day, and even if there were hours the boss wants to own everything I do at any time. So, yeah. I'll work on it.
Tell them you want more cash and equity for your hard work. If they don't give it to you, quit.
Why are you putting yourself through this torture?
Why do you think so many of us want to do start-ups? For the money? The long hours? The isolation? The family and social conflicts? Hardly.
Many of us are so sick and tired of participating in squandered corporate opportunities that we are frustrated into doing it our own way. We are right. And eventually, we have to do it our way.
Nothing selfish about it. Precisely the opposite. Who wants to go through life wondering what they could have given?
It's possible that software development attracts more creative, nonconformist people than engineering because there is a much higher barrier for creativity and self-direction in engineering.
Engineers also tend not to have blogs to rant about this stuff, so if they do have anguish they don't publicize it. It's all kind of a generalization though, so YMMV.
How often do you hear a mechanical engineer leaving work to start a new company or doing a 'Mechanical' start up and selling to for big money?.
I think when you have few options and when people you identify with are doing what you are doing, these feelings of not contributing/not doing anything else are less.