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How do you avoid mental burnout and passion loss across a long career?

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Solutions Architect II at Amazon2 years ago

Asking because I have some experience with it, which you can find below:

  • I wasn't truly enjoying the work I was doing in my role from the very beginning. I think the fact that it is customer facing drains me the most and I keep feeling bad that I wasn't doing deep technical work.
  • I completely burned myself out last year after joining a high-stakes team with too much ambiguity to deal with being early in my career. Also, my senior colleague left the team so most of the work landed on my shoulders. It was also a lot of the non-technical work I disliked.
  • That burnout was the breakpoint of my decision to switch careers to SWE where I can be more hands-on. LeetCode is a grind on its own so this non-stop chase somewhat makes me question the whole field in general, but I'm probably just spoiled with the current opportunities I have.


(1 comment)
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • 3 core pillars:
      • Working in an area you enjoy/love
      • Taking breaks
      • Having a supportive team
    • Burnout accumulates much less slowly when you work on something you're genuinely passionate about. Take the time to do the "meta-work" of discovering that passion ASAP in your career - Don't just keep rolling with the punches.
    • Use your PTO: Unused PTO is such a common trait across the industry. There will never be a good time to take PTO, just give your team a heads up and take it when you need it. Mitigate the pain by striving to make yourself replaceable in your team.
    • Having a supportive team + manager is the bare minimum for a successful career. Having a toxic team has another negative benefit in clouding your signal on what you like. It's possible the area you work on is actually a good fit for you; you just perceive it negatively because your team sucks.

    Related resources:

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, and much more. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it has been referred to as "one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world".
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