So I have a ton of empathy overall, but burnout?

Sort of. I do have empathy for founders, execs and ICs that truly left nothing on the field for 3, 4, 5 years.  That truly burns you out.  But even there, my empathy has limits.  Because while it’s real, you gotta get help as a founder, exec or leader.  You have to recruit a few great VPs and folks under you.  That’s the only way to avoid true burnout.

Still, that burnout I get.

But the fact that these days, everyone seems burnt out?  Even folks in many cases with relatively low stress jobs, often that honestly take 20 hours or less a week to do?  I’m not sure I have total empathy here.  But it doesn’t matter.  It’s time to recognize it — as a fact.

66% of you say you are burnt out, and in fact, 51% of you are more burnt out than last year.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve tried certain tactics myself that I thought would help, including:

  • Lowering quotas.  I thought this would help with burnout, but it didn’t really in the end.
  • Supporting side hustles.  This doesn’t seem to reduce burnout either.  I think it might increase it.
  • More work / life flexibility.  Letting folks miss more meetings, etc. doesn’t seem to help, either.
  • Lowering accountability.  I’ve tried removing deliverables and some accountability.  Hasn’t seemed in the end to make people happier.
  • Letting folks take extended breaks. I’ve had a little success here, but not too much.

I suspect one reason these “fixes” don’t really seem to help is burn-out is also combined with some ennui among many in tech.  A feeling of discouragement, that they aren’t getting what they wanted, the title, the comp, the lifestyle, etc.  That may be the root cause of a lot of this burnout.  Not really the hours or pressure.

I wish I had some great advice.  I think the reality is I’m coming to this conclusion:

With so many folks in tech burn-out, you probably just have to identify it before you hire someone.  And not hire them.

I’m not sure there are any easy fixes.  Lowering stress at work alone doesn’t seem to do it.

Related Posts

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This