5 practical strategies IT professionals use to avoid career burnout

| By:
Brett Cheloff

Career burnout is a real concern for IT professionals everywhere. It creates apathy toward daily tasks and makes it hard to feel invested. Staff members suffering from it may show up late or put little energy and enthusiasm toward their work. It affects IT professionals at all levels, from executive to entry level.

The prevalence of burnout among IT professionals illustrates how widespread this problem can be. If you’re experiencing career burnout, here are 5 tips you can use to remedy the situation.

1. Analyze your feelings of burnout

Many IT professionals work very long hours to support the IT infrastructure of their organizations or to meet competitive product development deadlines. An uneven work/life balance can exhaust anyone or make them feel burnt out. This sensation is only made worse for IT professionals tasked with mundane and repetitive tasks or who lack the recognition that they deserve.

If you feel burnt out about your job, it is important to really assess your feelings. Are you experiencing burnout because of your job itself, the long hours or the people you work with? By understanding why you feel the way that you do, you will be more prepared to know how to fix it.

2. Cultivate strong team relationships

While you don’t need to be best friends with everyone that you work with, wanting to spend time with them is a great start. If you look forward to spending time with co-workers, going to work every day will seem like less of a drag.

One way to cultivate strong team relationships is to get to know the other members of your team. Instead of eating lunch at your desk, sit with your teammates and find out more about them. Investing in these relationships is key to creating a workplace environment you look forward to visiting.

3. Discover something exciting on the job

The IT world is constantly evolving, mostly for the better. One way to quickly re-engage with your IT career is to find something to get excited about.

Consider tackling a side project, learning a new programming language or finding a way to add new responsibilities to your current job. You can use these additional projects to get excited about IT again.

4. Take a formal break

It isn’t healthy to work constantly, without a vacation. So, when was the last time you actually took a vacation and went somewhere that was fun? Many professionals use their vacation days to catch up on house projects or sleep.

If you’re guilty of not taking a vacation, this fact may just be why you feel the symptoms of burnout. Experts recommend planning a vacation every six months so you reap both the benefits of going on vacation and having something to look forward to.

5. Find a new career path

When all else fails and you’ve tried all of these steps to reduce your feelings of burnout, it might be time to find a new career path. Fortunately for IT professionals, there are a multitude of careers within the IT space. This means that a lot of your experience is transferable.

If you’re currently in software development, consider transitioning to hardware-specific roles. If you work in an IT help desk, consider where else your skills could be used. Don’t feel like you need to abandon the skills you’ve spent years developing. Channeling your talent in a new direction could be just the change of pace you’re looking for, and just what a new area in the industry needs.

If you’re looking for more ways to love your job, use these tips to love your work, every day.