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My first job burnout (niki.zone)
128 points by szines 971 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 90 comments

I've experienced job burnout, but not because of the job. I had changed roles, which meant a change of team leader.

Previously, I'd worked quite closely with my team leader, and he'd mentored me, as well as defending me when the inevitable little mistakes come up. He also gave me the freedom to get my work done in the way that suited me best - he had a very hands off approach, provided I got the work done and on time. My new team leader was the complete opposite, and micro-managed everything, to the point of three stand-up meetings a day to discuss progress on tasks, which he might re-prioritise at any time. It was a complete nightmare, and my productivity plummeted. It took me 9 months to go from loving working at the company, and doing extra work outside of hours pro bono simply because I liked helping my boss, to completely loathing work, and leaving the company.

A good manager can make the world of difference in job satisfaction, and definitely stopped me from burning out despite actually doing more work under my previous manager.

My first true burnout came working at a "lifer" job, enterprise engineering for an organization everyone has heard of. It was good for a long time. Then a new manager and a change in organizational direction came at about the same time. What should have been a very fun new project instead became miserable. But I was a "lifer", and wasn't going to leave. Eventually, I got fired, and it felt like someone had cut my chains off.

The worst thing is that I wasted nine years of my career there, three in misery. And it took me a couple more years to realize that I shouldn't work for others at all, but instead should start my own company. And I'm still not to the point where I can make a living on my own product without dayjobbing. But someday, someday I'll be able to sync up my love of enterprise configuration management problems with my wish for freedom and independence.

I was in a very similar situation with a full-time permanent government job. They were restructuring the organization and had an offer to leave with a nice severance package. I left and have been some form of self-employed ever since.

I had been planning a career change at the time to something not computer related. This gave me a good chance to try out consulting and I realized that I didn't hate computers, I just hated my job.

Can you expand on what you're doing now?

I'm working on a search engine for complex system configuration. It tracks changes in any sort of system configuration (configuration files, database schemas, deployed apps, firewall rules, whatever) and lets you see what changed when across entire groups of systems.

It's really targeted at larger applications built operated by multiple subteams and specialists. Large systems suffer from interaction-driven failures - Component A changes, and Component B breaks. For example, a db schema change can break applications that rely on the schema. But if the databases are maintained by a separate team of DBAs, coordinating and communicating change and dependencies is difficult, and debugging them is even worse. Being able to see changes that can affect your own domain from other domains outside your scope can make solving system failures a lot simpler and faster.

I took several months off last year to work on this, and built an alpha version. It worked, but mostly taught me what needs to be done to build a beta and head for production. Alas, I had to go back to dayjobbing for a while, so it's slow going again. :( But it'll get there.

I don't mean to be a jerk or anything, but a burnout is something you better not blog about or write about on facebook or speak about in any way that can be traced back to your real name, if you ever want to find another job again.

Potential employers will google the names of applicants before an interview, and if the first thing that comes up is your name and photo on a story about your first job burnout, you're going to have a very difficult interview, if they don't cancel it altogether.

It depends on where you live of course, but where I live (Western Europe) a burnout on your resume can be a career death sentence. It's illegal to fire an employee who is home sick, and people unable to work because of a burnout can stay home sick for months or even years at the employer's expense.

If it happens, you try to hide it on your CV. 'Stayed home taking care of children', 'Went back to college', 'Took a sabbatical', 'wanted time to travel' even a serious but purely physical illness (that was cured), all make good excuses. If there's a hole in your CV that can't be explained in such a way, they will assume burnout, and will likely not want to take the risk.

No, no, a thousand times no.

Not talking about things like this, keeping it secret, or (as you just did) encouraging a social prohibition on hiding this information is what leads to a burnout culture.

It's the same social taboo that prevents people from talking about their suicidal tendencies, even if talking about it can lead to help.

And in a weaker sense, it's similar to the taboo in many private companies in the US to keep one's salary information private, even though that taboo mostly ends up putting more power into the hands of the employer. (Discussed here recently at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9580871 )

People get burned out because they are overworked. Employers either overwork employees deliberately - in which case not talking about burnout means there's no coordinated response to resist employer pressure - or don't realize that someone is being overworked - in which case it's best to encourage people to be able to identify what burnout feels like or looks like.

People get burned out because something in their life is causing them too much stress for too long a period. It might be the employer's fault, or it might be the combination of a perfectly fine 9 to 5 job with a bad social situation at home or a health problem.

I'm not advocating trying to ignore it, but putting it out on the internet in a way that it's the first thing a potential employer will see when they google your name will definitely not make things easier or better.

Your first paragraph now is aligned with my own statement, which is either that it's deliberate or accidental overwork. My conclusion was that people need to be able to recognize that there's a problem (either in themselves, co-workers, or employees) and be able to talk about it.

Your point is that people should keep this sort of issue hush-hush. It is in that where we disagree.

While it may be best for someone, depending on the circumstances, to not talk about such issues in public, your view seems to be that no one should ever do so. Otherwise you would have said "you need to be careful if you blog or write" rather than "you better not blog about or write".

This sort of caution happens often. I gave an example of public salary information, but I could have talked about unionization. The first person to propose unionization often has negative job consequences, despite the laws against employer retaliation. The people who want to change the statue quo often receive advice like "keep your head down", "don't rock the boat", and "know which battles to fight." But the only way to change, and hopefully be in a better situation, is to start doing it.

Your advice is to continue with the status quo, and you use language of social mores to make that advice. I strongly disagree.

> Your first paragraph now is aligned with my own statement, which is either that it's deliberate or accidental overwork.

No, your posts imply that burnout is entirely work related.

> Your point is that people should keep this sort of issue hush-hush.

You missed the "in any way that can be traced back to your real name" part. Posting a story like this under your full name, with a picture of your face, can have consequences that make things a lot worse. The same can be said of a lot of things people post on the internet, including this discussion.

My apologies. Certainly if someone could afford to quit a job and focus only on the other issues (eg, taking care of a seriously ill family member) then it's still possible to get burned out.

But given that your advice was only meaningful to those who want to get future employment, I think my assumption that - in the context of your comment - there's a strong job component to being burned out is valid.

"Hush-hush" doesn't mean completely secret. It can also mean "not openly practiced or engaged in or shown or avowed". If one has to be anonymous to discuss it, or lie or demure if asked point blank 'did you write this piece?' or 'are you burned out?', then it's a problem. Ditto for 'you try to hide it on your CV'.

Now, I may be using 'hush-hush' incorrectly, as it's mid-20th century slang, chiefly British. My original point remains, which is that your original response used language to reenforce existing social mores ("something you better not blog").

It doesn't even consider that the person who write the piece may be well aware of everything you wrote, took it into account, and still believes it's better to write under a real name.

After all, anonymous reports are often dismissed on grounds that they are anonymous, which lets the person making the report lie, exaggerate, and otherwise make things up without fear of consequences.

We're all in this together, so you can either keep up this act of lying to employers and handing out resumes that put you one position below superman, or if you're quite capable and credentialed as many of us are, we can set a precedent. Walk out of obnoxious interviews - stop pretending to be the best developer ever on your resume - answer questions about shortcomings without apprehension (because we're all human and there should be nothing to hide).

Will you make less money? Probably, but you'll make the job field easier for everyone else and at some tipping point maybe jr. level employees won't have to pretend they have 5 years of experience for a jr. level position in the future and those people won't make less money just because they refuse to pretend to be superhuman during the interview process.

This is what prisoner's dilemma decisions are, baby. It's just reversed in that this time, the actors are making a play for prison, not freedom. :)

You keep using the phrase 'perfectly fine 9 to 5 job' .. as though that's a perfectly fine thing.

What's wrong with it?

> is what leads to a burnout culture.

True. But that's the interesting part. The incentive for the individual is to hide it despite the fact that at the society level the hiding it is what (in part) causes it.

I've worked for multiple companies that intentionally burn out their workers. I even posted negative reviews on glassdoor with my real name. The companies just had glassdoor remove the reviews to appear positive. There is nothing you can really do about bad employers except try to avoid them or escape from them if you end up in one.

All well and good, but why talk about it in a way that's linked with your real name?

As I commented elsewhere in this thread, "anonymous reports are often dismissed on grounds that they are anonymous, which lets the person making the report lie, exaggerate, and otherwise make things up without fear of consequences."

It would also act as a good filter from employers that I don't wish to work with.

I couldn't disagree more.

I would fit into the 'potential employers' part of your comment, having hired <50 people in the last 12-18 months (and 100's total in my time). If I got a candidates name, and Google'd them (which I always do) and a blog post like this came up: it would have no negative effects on my view of that candidate.

In fact, I would prefer a candidate who knows their limits and is obviously willing to communicate them. I would view a person who would publicly talk about a subject that few others in their position do as someone I would want on my team, as I would view them as more likely to not only push when their workload/lifestyle is becoming unhealthy but would actively help in recognising it in others who maybe wouldn't talk it so readily.

Frankly any organisation that would view something like this as negative is one I would council no one to want to work with.

Unfortunately, there are still many bosses who would be put off by a mental health issue in someones past though.

In a former role, I interviewed a candidate who cited burnout as one of the reasons for a career change a few years earlier. After the interview my boss (who was in the interview) made a big thing about how that put him off. I think it was his main reason for rejecting the candidate.

It is important we do talk about these issues though. At the time I did not feel able to say "that's not ok" to my boss in the same way that I might if he had been put off by the candidate's sexuality. I should have.

If a company looks down on mental health issues, do you want to work there?

You can't know for sure who looks at your resume. There could be obnoxious people at even the best of companies. Maybe if everyone stopped improving their CVs the problem would go away, but that's hard to do when you're living off your last paycheck.

If the alternative is unemployment, sure, why not?

Agreed. I am a supervisor at work, so I do hiring. I would not be turned off to a candidate because of a blog post like this, I would see it as a sign of maturity rather.

But I also work at a company where 40 hour weeks are the norm.

+1 If something is wrong it is better to know, rather than to have it fail silently. Unfortunately weakness/failure still seems to be stigmatized/feared by some people.

"Potential employers will google the names of applicants before an interview"

I would love for this to happen, but this never ever happens. I would love it if, at some point, employers looked at my Github account before the job interview, or if they read some of my comments on Hacker News (I put my Hacker News account on my resume, but they still don't read it), or if they read a few of my better known essays, so I could walk into the job interview and we could skip over the basics and start talking about advanced subjects, but instead, every job interview starts off with "Do you know what Object Oriented Programming is? Define an object. Do you know what the keyword 'private' means?" I would love it if a potential employer read about the disaster that struck my last business, and then we could have a serious talk about risks and burn rates and being honest about bad news, when all the news is bad. Those would be interesting conversations. There are some potential employers who would immediately know that they disagree with my views, if they ever searched for my name, but they never do. At this point, Google associates my name with the blog post "Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end", which was much discussed here on Hacker News and Reddit and other places. Those potential employers who are strongly in favor of the Object Oriented approach could avoid a job interview with me, if they ever searched for my name. But they don't. Not ever. In the 16 years that I have done professional programming, no potential employer has ever used the Internet to try to track down information about me (or if they did, they were very good actors, and pretended to be ignorant).

You imply that because the people who did talk to you did not google you, that no one does. It is more likely that the people who do google you do not give you an interview.

I disagree. Burnout should be talked about, so that people learn it's a real problem and it stops being a taboo. Third world countries have public health problems specifically because there are these "taboo conditions" that are not talked about.

Sure, public exposure might discourage a few employers but realistically - it's a pretty big world out there and imagining a single internet tarnish will ruin ones future is really exaggerating.

Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_be_forgotten

I can speak from observing events at a close distance -- - even high-tech employers can be really clueless about the effects of burnout and it's cousin clinical depression. And it's too bad because the cause is often bad management and poor project management, which are areas that are, if not easy, then at least feasible to improve on given the large supply of educational material and consultancies available to help in these matters.

If an employer doesn't hire someone because they are open to talking about their wellbeing, and the true capacities of human beings, then it's probably a GREAT thing that you don't work for them.

Dodged a bullet there.

Lying on your CV is probably fraud and is almost always a very bad idea.

Lying about mental health only contributes to the stigma and discrimination that some people experience. It also removes some of the legal protections you have[1]. It's probably better to be honest - "I had time off for a common illness. I got treatment and I now have some advanced techniques and some protective measures, although noone expects any recurrance of the illness.

Then move the topic onto what good things this company does and why you're applying.

[1] in some jurisdictions you have to disclose your illness to get disability discrimination protections. Not all places.

You're right, lying is a bad idea, but phrasing something bad in a way that sounds a little better is sometimes necessary, especially with something that you know is behind you and won't affect your future work. It's not fair, and it doesn't help with the work stress, but employers do disqualify a candidate for this.

If you've had a mental health problem you probably don't want to work for a campany that discriminates against people with mental health problems.

If they're prepared to break the law during recruitment what kind of protection or understanding are you going to get when you're working there.

Colluding with a discriminatory company helps no one.

Please put "Will tell the truth in all situations regardless of the effects" on your resume. Let us know how that goes for you.

It's generally good advice to think twice before publishing anything under your real name that may affect your life and career.

However, just like most people that have suffered burn-out conclude that they should have gotten out much sooner, it's also wise to avoid any employer for which this is an issue.

Because that can mean only one of two things:

1) The employer in question is clueless about burn-out, which means they are clueless about many health issues affecting workers, which means their HR sucks, which in turn means they are the kind of employer that's likely to create detrimental working conditions leading to burn-out.

2) The employer in question is very well aware that they have an unhealthy work environment and, wrongly, believes they'll increase their odds if they sign someone who hasn't had a burn-out before.

If you've already been through a burn-out once, you know that unless your financial situation is really desperate (rare if you live in the kind of Western European country you refer to), you're better off being unemployed than working for such an employer.

Any mature, responsible employer knows that burn-out tends the to hit the hardest working, most engaged employees, and that the biggest risk factor of prolonged absence caused by burn-out is not recognizing the signs early. Anybody who's already been through that is actually a lower risk.

The HR department exists to protect the company from the employees. They mitigate health risks for employees by buying an insurance policy with the company as beneficiary, rather than addressing any potential risk factors introduced by the company itself. In doing this, they have plausible deniability, unless the employee comes forward to complain. Complainers are subtly encouraged to move on, in a way that is non-actionable in civil courts.

All HR sucks. If the HR at your company does not, treasure and cherish your unicorn. But also watch it carefully, in case it is just a goat with one horn sawed off, that has been dyed pink and dipped in glitter.

Do not rely on employment law to protect you. Anything that can be traced back to you may be used against you. The lack of anything traceable back to you may also be used against you.

Everywhere I've worked in this country, employers have done their best to keep the work environment as stress free as possible (because of the serious financial consequences I described), yet people still get burnout. Your body doesn't separate work-stress from private stress, and not all stress can be blamed on your employer. A perfectly fine 9 - 5 job can push you over your stress limits if it is combined with a bad social situation, such as caring for a sick relative.

I agree with this very strongly. Be very careful what you post about yourself online that is associated with your easily searchable name that you put on job applications. Burnout may be a real problem, but stating you think burnout is somewhat normal and that you will occasionally need time off to recover ( like op seems to state in article ) is not going to win you any high stakes high reward positions.

Agreed also it important to have continuous work listings on your resume. "I was laid off and it took a bit of time to find a good position" is usually the easiest excuse for <3 months of time off.

I totally agree. I would delete this blog post. It's not flattering.

In her defense, many engineers quit their jobs after 3-4 years because of fatigue. Usually it's for a better job with more pay...nothing wrong with that.

If you were interviewing for such a position and came across this candidate, would they have a "very difficult interview?" How would you treat them differently, and why is that okay?

I'm not interviewing people, I'm someone with a suspicious hole in their CV that they still have to try to justify in every interview over 15 years later.

> 15 years later

Oh, come on now. Things aren't that bad. If that's a snag, it's probably best to not work there.

"You're a lot older than we thought you would be" Whether it's a snag you never know but you do end up having to talk about it every time

> After spending a few weeks away from work catching up with movies, I started feeling better. Once I got my thoughts back, I decided to quit. By that time I didn’t like my job at all, I couldn’t imagine going back not even for a day. If I knew it was a burnout at that time, and if I got help in time, I might have been still at the bank working as a branch manager :)

This is one of those interesting "stay vs leave" situations. If OP had recognized impending burnout early on, and addressed it, would she have been happier staying on at the bank?

It's usually quite hard to say.

It is very interesting. I recently had burnout get so deep that I couldn't hide it anymore and had to react, I asked for a week off because I was burnt out. Got given that weak off, 3 days in was fired.

1.5 years 10+ hour days, 7 days a week with only 2 days off after my daughter was born.

> 1.5 years 10+ hour days, 7 days a week with only 2 days off after my daughter was born.

Why did you do that? (not an accusation, genuinely curious)

I was given equity in the company, told it was my company too. I felt me working extra would contribute to the success of the company. I was often pushed by the CEO when I was feeling tired and that I couldn't work anymore. I've ruined friendships with some of my closet friends because of the company... In the end, the equity I got wasn't worth the trouble I went through. I will never accept equity anymore. Pay me my salary, or find another shmuck. You're not creating the next Google, Facebook or Dropbox. The equity isn't worth it.

Sounds like getting fired was for the best

I felt like a thousand pound gorilla made out of stress was literally lifted off my chest 2 days after I was fired, and my anger subsided and I thought about everything.

It was a godsend. I had my head buried so deep into that company I was deluding myself. Now I'm free from the shackles that stagnated me, and I can advance my skillset and do what I love because I'm not being forced to work in an archaic codebase of spaghetti and feature creep.

Yet another piece of evidence of why working extra hours for the company is never worth it.

yeah, agreed. Sometimes it's best to not make it work and to move on, no matter the reason that makes you leave.

Great read and good take-away message "if your not enjoying your job, try something else" - it's a medicine that is sometimes very difficult to take.

Speaking of medicine - you were given a twice daily injection for six weeks, and you don't know what was in the injection?!

> I still don’t know what was in it but surely it was some really good stuff :)

Worth reflecting on what a luxury it is to be able to pick a job you enjoy.

>"I started 7.30AM in the office finishing up around 6-7PM."

Stopped reading there. Whoever is in charge of HR at that place needs to be taken around the back and shot by the shareholders. Even ignoring the labour issues, I seriously doubt they saw a significant advantage in productivity over a conventional 8-hour day, instead they lost what was probably a very valuable employee. Hope they're happy.

What's the difference between burnout, and boreout? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boreout

It sounds like the author was experiencing the latter before she experienced the former.

Why is this called 'My first burnout', are you planning on having another one?

I think it's "first job" burnout, rather than first 'job burnout'

EDIT: Actually on second read I'm not so sure. Maybe it's just a natural figure-of-speech thing rather than a deliberate choice of words

Burnout is going to happen unless you are in an awesome job that you will never leave. I think most people hope to change jobs every 2-3 years anyway.

Just because you're changing jobs doesn't mean you're burning out. I've known people who have had several jobs over a career (some they liked and some they didn't) without ever burning out at any of them.

as in "the first one I've encountered"

I read this title as "My first burnout (made me understand what burnout is)".

The article seems curiously devoid of explanation as to what caused the burnout. As a result there is no reasoning in it really as to how to avoid burnout. ( besides "take a break when you need it" )

It seems to imply that burnout is a failing of the employee not of the employer. I disagree with this notion entirely, as I think management has a duty to care for and protect their employees from burnout. That is why there is always a chain of responsibility, so that this can occur at all places on the chain.

A properly functioning corporation will help their employees avoid burnout and not make demands of them that inevitably cause it.

God that sounds like the rut I am in.

Happened to me a couple months ago. Fainted on my desk, had to go to the hospital by ambulance. Almost 8 weeks at home. Don't wait for it to happen.

> Don't wait for it to happen.

Sounds so much like what's happening to me here, yet how to distinguish between the "real thing" and confirmation bias?

For me, i had a bunch of signals that I was ignoring for a couple of months. - Could not sleep well at all. Woke up many times in the middle of the night, my mind was always thinking about work. I lay in bed, heart pounding really fast. - Loss of appetite. My breakfast would be a cup of coffee and 1 or 2 cigarettes. Could not eat at all in the morning. - Starting to feel pain on my chest, near the heart, during the day. Hands shaking, confusing speech.

One day, I was at my desk, speaking on the phone with a work colleague. On my side, there was another colleague also speaking to me. I started to see everything blur. I tried to speak but I couldn't. Started to feel a huge pain in the chest. I remember putting my hand against my heart and then passed out. - When I recovered my senses (a couple of seconds later), I couldn't feel my legs, I was shaking, and couldn't speak. It was terrifying. I really though I was having some sort of heart attack. In the end, was a really bad burnout, stress, altogether. I'm still doing my job (sysadmin), but I don't know how long will I be able to stand this.

So, take care!

2 weeks off can go an awfully long way to both seeing the problem more clearly, and correcting it. I've gotten to the point, several times, where I was ready to quit my job and tour the world with a backpack rather than go in for one more day. In each case, I opted for a short leave of absence instead, telling myself that I could quit for real if I needed to after that. In each case, 3-4 weeks vacation was more than enough to satisfy me.

If you are stuck with the idea that you're about to burn out in the first place, that's a pretty clear indication that you have a problem. No need to second-guess those kinds of thoughts.

Fainted at your desk, what caused that? Lack of sleep? Not eating?

Yes, that's right. Lack of sleep, poor eating. All mixed up with a lot of overnight work during a chaotic migration project. The day before that happened I had a sign that I should have taken seriously. I arrived at home, opened the front door, and felt on the floor. I had no strength at all in my legs. I started to cry without any apparent reason. Could not control myself and that never happened to me before.

Were you consuming large amounts of caffeine at the time? I'm wondering if there isn't a common dietary component of burn outs since it probably takes quite a bit of energy to work very long hours. (e.g. High calorie [processed] food, caffeine/other stimulants)

You are right. I was consuming large amounts of caffeine. Usually 4 to 5 espressos per day, 0.5L of filter coffee, plus large amounts of beer on Friday and Saturday nights. At that time, I was in a gym, 3 to 4 times per week. I was told, by the doctor, that it would help me to clear my mind from work. Regarding medication, I was consuming some vitamins.

That's why you should sleep at your desk if you are tired; it is much healthier than getting sick and fainting. Plus; you can wake up if anyone makes enough noise and quickly get back to pretending you are working.

Happened to me a few years back but I caught it early on and quit before it became really fucking bad. Still, it's not a 'pit' I'd like to fall into again.

> weak-up-call

> even I wasn’t even 30 at that time

I don't want to sound like a grammar nazi, but might I suggest proofreading the next time.

Pretty sure the author doesn't speak English as a first language. Sounds like they might be originally of European extraction.

English is not my first language either, I'm European myself. Those look more like inattentive errors rather than lack of language proficiency. I didn't mean to upset anyone, just a tip for someone who aspires to be an author.

Yep, based on the name she's Hungarian. Also proof-reading is hard, because most of the time you cannot see your own mistakes.

How the fuck did this article receive so many points? Burned out working at a bank? Huh? Getting a job because of her boyfriend? What's the moral of the story?

> My _first_ job burnout

This makes me sad. Live to work, not work to live.

I think most would agree that you work to live. I would bet 90+% of people would quit their jobs if they didn't have to make money.

On the other hand, I don't think there's anything wrong with finding a job that you don't hate, pays the bills, and gives you enough time to enjoy other aspects of life.

Personally I found that thinking I should love my job actually made me more frustrated because every time I found something I didn't like with my job, I would think about how this isn't what I want to do and try to find another job.

Sorry for the kids today! post...

I find it weird that so many young people get burnt out, in relatively simple jobs with no responsibilities (on the job or with kids/family).

A couple of people at my office have had to take a couple months of sick leave because burnout. And they had simple responsibilities and no overtime etc.

I myself have worked normal "IT days" for over 15 years, sometimes it's hectic and sometimes calmer. You only have to know how to relax in your spare time. And yes I work at home also sometimes ("bring my work home") and sometimes think about work problems semi-constantly. But going for a run etc helps to clear your head. Or having a robust night out with a killer hangover!

I think these young people just don't know how to work hard and party hard :) And they are crybabies, also.

"And they are crybabies, also."

Funny thing I've discovered in life, understanding and compassion are free. They don't cost a thing, but they're still some of the hardest things to get out of a person.

Have you talked to the people who got burned out? What do they say about it? Your post doesn't sound so much like a "kids these days!" post as, to be frank, an "I'm an asshole" post.

Well sorry for the Louis CK style commenting :) It hits a nerve because part of it is true :)

Further down is a funny post about youngsters "understanding" that you don't actually have to work ("So while you think it's OK to slave away, work for free and abuse the State sponsored drug, they don't.") for life to be good. Sure, if somebody wipes your behind and burps you regularly.

Well I work, my life is good, I'm not complaining (about work at least!).

But really, quite the problem people have these days. 8-16 work days in a comfy office with no responsibility whatsoever and they get burnt out at 25 (2 years out of school). I think that's a pampered crybaby.

And I'm not now talking about people with some medical issues, those you can't of course help.

So... you're still calling people crybabies, but I'd still like to know: did you ever talk to these people about their burnout? Did you try to understand what was going on with them?

Do you have any curiosity at all about the people you're judging?

It's easy to forget that populations have a wide range (distribution) of abilities and mental fortitude. Sometimes someone on one extreme of the distribution doesn't realize their privilege and condescends to those on the other end of the distribution.


- I can live on 5 hrs of sleep, why can't you?

- I can happily parent 5 children, why can't you?

- I've never been depressed a day in my life, why are you sad?

- I have enough energy for every hour of every day, you're a sucker for needing coffee/naps!

Why the mistrust? The author did an entire career change after suffering her burnout. That's not a decision to take lightly and surely isn't emblematic of someone who is faking it. Furthermore, she indicated she was putting in 11 hours or so a day in her banking job. That's not a schedule which is lightly endured by anyone, no matter how spirited or strong-willed the individual may appear.

Seems like a great candidate to hire onto a job where you intentionally burn people out. She is willing to work 11 hour days, get burned out, and not blame the employer. Lets hire this person. Surely we can get a good year of overwork before the next burnout. Then maybe a cool "The 2nd time I got burned out" article.

Millennials (aka the crybabies you refer to) have not bought into the Protestant Work Ethic as you have. So while you think it's OK to slave away, work for free and abuse the State sponsored drug, they don't.

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