We’ve all experienced a stressful day (or week) of work, but you’re getting into problem territory when those exhausting situations are available on tap and the workplace demands are unrelenting. That’s why we find the number of tech professionals regularly feeling burnout on the job alarming. In 2018, a survey conducted by Blind, an anonymous community app for the workplace, revealed that 57.16% of tech workers are currently suffering from job burnout. Are you one of them? Here are the four main signs of tech industry burnout and the steps you should take to improve your IT career.
Your Workload Is Overbearing
Of late, there’s been a drive to replace the concept of work-life balance with work-life harmony. Ask Jeff Bezos about it and you’ll hear how he thinks the idea of work-life balance is inaccurate and debilitating. Though we do love the idea of shifting from an even-steven distribution of time to a personalized schedule that fits your own priorities, it’s important the work-life harmony advocated by Silicon Valley isn’t used as a Trojan horse to sneakily transition to a culture that overworks people.
Ask tech workers and it’s already a risk. Almost one out of five IT professionals point to an overloaded work schedule as one of their main reasons for burnout. If that sounds like you, take the first step and address the situation with your boss. Discuss how you’re feeling maxed out and work together to determine which projects can be delegated or moved to a lower priority. And if they aren’t willing to lighten your workload, remember that the job market is hot and you have plenty of opportunities.
Your Culture Is Toxic
Most of us spend over one-third of our waking hours at work, so dreading your workplace is nothing to shrug off. Unfortunately, as many as 48% of tech professionals feel as if they work in a toxic atmosphere. And for 18% of burnt out IT professionals, this toxicity is the biggest contributor to their on-the-job exhaustion.
Though there are ways to detoxify a working culture, it’s usually a tough fight requiring buy-in from management to eliminate toxic people, practices, and habits. With unhealthy work cultures as pervasive as they are, it’s important to speak out, but any IT worker should also remember that they’re not obligated to stay in a bad situation. In fact, one of the greatest impacts people can have is to be honest when asked about why they’re leaving and point to the bad work culture.
Your Career and Skills Are Stuck in Place
Most people value growth and ongoing learning on the job (93% of people say they would stay longer with a company investing in them). Yet that desire is not fulfilled in every workplace. There is a 31% difference between the number of tech professionals who think training and education opportunities are important and those who actually receive them through work. Plus, 15% of people in the Blind survey said one of the most significant contributors to their burnout was a lack of control and career growth.
Your next step depends on your company. If your work structure is flat, you might not be able to rise up the ranks, but you can cross-train in different disciplines. If you’re in a larger company, you might be able to create new roles for yourself if you act as the advocate for new technologies or tools (or even make it clear you’re ready for greater responsibilities). Either way, expressing your interest in growth opportunities can yield some change. That said, most tech professionals still learn and grow the most when they take on new challenges with a role at a new company.
You’re on a Rudderless Ship
When asked about the leading causes of workplace burnout, 23% of professionals pointed to poor leadership and unclear direction as the main culprit. That’s not too surprising. Leadership sets the tone and pace of any workplace culture. Without a strong leader or clear direction, priorities get distorted, timelines drag on, and employees tend to treat every challenge as if it’s a multiple-alarm fire.
Unlike other root causes of burnout, the only solution is to leave. Waiting for an ineffective leader to shape up or move on removes control from your hands. Lucky for you, the current job market is filled with enough amazing opportunities that fit your career, work culture, and work-life balance goals.
Ready for a new opportunity? Check out our latest IT jobs before tech industry burnout sets in!