Burned Out for the Holidays

There’s no place like burnout for the holidays.  You can run, but you can’t hide.  Perhaps the possibility of being burned out never crossed your mind.  Stop for a second, and let’s explore.  The answer might be different than you thought.

Think back on your personal state of the union during 2021 (mental health, physical health, emotional health).  In order to be truly reflective, create some distance from your daily work routine.  It could be during a day or two off work, but it could also be series of isolated thinking sessions (i.e. no interruptions).  Distance from our work often brings with it clarity on what is truly important.  While this may not cure career burnout, you might at least recognize the dangers that lie ahead if something doesn’t change.

Listen to Their Stories

One way to know if you’re in the depths of burnout or headed there is to listen to the experience of others.  After interviewing 43 different guests through 150 episodes of the Nerd Journey Podcast, I want to highlight stories of those who walked roads alongside, through, and beyond burnout.  Below you’ll find a sampling from our catalog.  An episode / segment on burnout may be one part of a series of interviews, so I’ve shared the links to all episodes with that guest and highlighted where to look for burnout-specific content.

  • Nick’s Story
    • Episode 179 – Make It Known, Slow Things Down, Don’t Burn Out
      • This one is personal.  It’s the story of how 2022 was nearly the year I burned out.  In this episode I share some feedback I received, books I read, what resonated, and what I did to come back from the brink.
  • Bill Kindle
    • Episode 180 – Hired on the Spot
    • Episode 181 – Crossing the Burnout Fault Line
      • When you’re not able to advance as fast as you want or in the ways you want over the course of a career, it can cause a crisis.  For Bill, one conversation at a VMware User Group changed the game completely and helped pull him back from burnout.  Pay close attention to the way Bill revs his extracurricular activities up and down based on his needs at the time.
    • Episode 182 – Security from the System Administrator’s Lens


More Stories of Burnout

Our show isn’t the only place to find stories of burnout or helpful content on the topic.  Here are more resources for you.  If you have a great resource not listed here, please contact me so I can add it for the benefit of others.


Where Do You Go from Here?

If you heard something after sampling the resources above that sounded a lot like your life, hit the pause button.  Maybe you’re not burned out yet but dangerously close.  Maybe you feel like you’re too far gone.   Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, and yes, there is hope for you.  Talk to someone who will listen.  Get professional help if you need it, and don’t be ashamed.

If you’re someone who has walked the road through burnout and is now recovering, please take time to share your story in a blog, on a podcast, or in a video.  Your story needs to be told.  If you need a platform on which to tell it, please reach out to me or to my co-host John White about being a guest on Nerd Journey.  Give someone else the career advice you wish you’d been given earlier.

Maybe it’s not you at all who is burned out.  Maybe someone you know is on a dangerous path.  If you see something, say something.

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