The Reality of Burnout and Breaking Into Tech

May 01, 2024
4 min read
The Reality of Burnout and Breaking Into Tech cover image

I recently got back from a 10 day vacation with my wife and family. It was a much needed break from the daily grind of work, coding, and life in general. I removed social media, discord, and slack from my phone and focused on quality time with the family and recovering from burnout.

I wanted to take some time to reflect on my journey into tech, the burnout I experienced, and how I'm recovering from it. I hope that by sharing my story I can help others who are going through the same thing.

My Journey

I started my journey into tech in May of 2022. I enrolled in a boot camp with Coding Dojo specializing in the MERN and Python stacks. It was an expensive way to get out of tutorial hell, but it was exactly what I needed. I was motivated, driven, and stoked to be learning something new.

Fast forward to present time and I'm burned out. Since graduating from boot camp in November of 2022 I have been applying for jobs, getting rejection emails, getting involved in the tech community, building projects, and learning new technologies. I've been doing all of this while maintaining my day job of 50+ hours a week.

I was/am putting a lot of pressure on myself to be more involved on twitter and in the communities I am involved with. I had a fear that if I didn't engage with all the tweets, post, and be active in the community that I would be forgotten about and miss out on an opportunity.

Acting out of fear is never a good thing and drains you of your energy and motivation.

I'm sure most of you reading this are aware of what burnout out is but lets go over it just in case:

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress, typically related to work or caregiving responsibilities. It's characterized by feelings of being overwhelmed, drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Burnout can lead to decreased productivity, cynicism, detachment from responsibilities, and even physical symptoms like headaches, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

I was experiencing all of these symptoms and more. I was constantly tired, irritable, and unmotivated. I was having trouble focusing on tasks and was constantly feeling overwhelmed to the point where I truly just wanted to give up.

I was so tired of trying and feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere. This was a lie that I was believing and it was causing me to spiral more and more into burnout.

How I'm recovering

I'm still in the process of recovering from burnout but I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me along the way.

  1. Taking a break: I took a 10 day vacation with my family and it was exactly what I needed. I removed all social media, discord, and slack from my phone and focused on quality time with my family. I was able to relax, recharge, and come back feeling refreshed and motivated.

    I am not saying that everyone should go and take a 10 day vacation! BUT I am saying that you should take a break when you need it. Take a weekend to disconnect and recharge because I think you will find yourself even more productive when you come back.

  2. Taking care of the basics:

    • Sleep: I made sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is so important for your physical and mental health and can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels.
    • Exercise: I started going for walks every day and it has made a huge difference in my mood and energy levels. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
    • Eating & Staying Hydrated: I made sure to eat healthy, balanced meals and drink plenty of water. Eating well can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels.
  3. Setting boundaries: I was putting too much pressure on myself to be active on social media and in the tech community.

    • When i engage with social media I want it to be intentional and not just to be active
    • Only choose projects that I truly have time for and don't over commit
    • Make sure to prioritize self care so I can have the energy and focus to be productive when working on side projects.

Final Thoughts

If you resonate with any of this please reach out as I would love to encourage you. We are all in this daily grind together as we pursue new jobs and/or new careers in tech. Remember to take care of yourself!

You got this!