Technology Burnout

Curious if those people who have been in the IT business for a long time experience burnout? For most of my career, I have been the single source for IT responsibility. I have been in the industry for almost 25 years now and as the years go by I’m getting really burned out from the day to day stress. I am wondering if those professionals with a similar history have considered alternative employment or ways of dealing with the stress when you have no other sources who can take over the work, just feels like I am in IT mode 24/7.

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I have been in the game for 15 years and from my experience is imperative to try and keep yourself sane after long, intense, high level work in IT. I think it really depends on the culture and the environment you are in. If you don’t have a team that you can’t talk to and try to drown out monotonous, never ending break-fix tickets and angry customers. Then I believe that burnout is imminent. There was a 5 year period where I worked as an infrastructure engineer in a previous life that I worked so hard with LONG 15 hour days back to back and being on-call. I can tell you the stress level affected me, my marriage and my kids lives.

I totally get where you are coming from and I ended up having to find new employment and I was skeptical at first because I was there and established for 5 years but, didn’t know if the grass was greener on the other side. I believe there isn’t anything wrong with looking around and interviewing to see if there will be a better fit for you and your quality of life. I would always ask questions about culture and working environments because I believe it is key to understand how your next employer operates.

All I can say is I am now in a position to where I make more money, can work from home, see my family and the stress level is WAY lower than it used to be. I’m not saying that my solution will work for you but, at least it may give some insight from one IT professional to another, some options and thoughts.

Definitely, it takes so much time and effort to keep up.

I’m a specialist in Microsoft Project, I kept up with it from 95 to 2010 versions, however, the planning tool didn’t change that much, but once MS grew their server offering until it became an application on SharePoint. Installing this for customers was always tedious, I built up my technology knowledge but was more interested in the business benefits. What changed for me was I realised, most customers are happy with “Janet & John” solutions, the level of sophistication I reached simply wasn’t wanted for varied reasons by Project Management practitioners.

So I got off the Microsoft train, I still use their solutions, all running in my Virtual Machines, which I then hawk out the results of doing analysis using these tools. In 25 years, I can tell you nothing much has changed in PM, same old problems, I’ve seen nothing new in the last 10 years so I don’t regret getting off the train.

I have more interest in networking as a hobby, being able to set up domains, AD infrastructures etc. in VMs has helped but I don’t want to go back to solving daily technology issues again.

I have been working professorially in tech since 1995 and it’s not so much tech but people that stress me out. My solutions are:

  • Being away from people for a while, walks in the woods, bicycle rides, & motorcycle rides
  • Listening to lots of Books & Podcasts because they offer quiet interior experiences in a very loud world. They allow you to inhabit someone else’s consciousness and give you a break from your own.

Wow you guys, I appreciate each and everyone of you who took the time to tell me your experience. honestly I shouldn’t really complain if I am honest but it is the toll of not having anyone to discuss how to go about fixing something or if things go bad, how to recover. Although I have been in the industry long my real strength is on the networking side and even that I’m no expert, more of a jack of all trades becasue companies always think if it has a cable, well IT can fix it. The stress I experience is on the server side of things in particular, VMWare and working within a production environment. Up until this position I had some very limited experience managing windows servers, just entry tasks, like account creation, permissions, but not critical management like managing updates, keeping servers secure and up to date.

I’m in vCenter environment with 9 VM’s at this location, then I’m responsible for a US location and although a China location too, that is minimal now. But again having only myself puts alot of pressure, especially with everything now reliant on a WAN connection, just that dropping alone causes big issues and then there are the staff. A great bunch of people but the constant little jabs or comments “what do you do all day anyway” has really started to affect me. Staff know I take my job serious and they think its funny but here is a scenario, so I have 3 weeks of holidays avaialble a year but have never taken more than 5 days, so about a month or so ago I leave on Friday and while driving about an hour into my trip I get a text asking me for the number of the company that provides us with support when needed. I already have reservations about leaving but they thought it would be funny to pretend that everything was down, I wasn’t amused obviously, I think it’s just everything getting to me. Sorry for the rant.

Having someone you can “consult” helps a lot. Stress is greatly relieved when you successfully solve a problem and add to your knowledge base, and getting there is made a lot easier by having a network of “consultant” friends.

That is true, I have no one to turn to for help, well thank god there are forums like this but when the crap the hits the fan it’s helpful but would be nice to throw ideas off others in real time. Thanks David, sorry for the long delay in responding.