Marco Rogers Profile picture
17 Oct, 13 tweets, 3 min read
A few weeks, and even a few months, is *not* enough time to recover from serious work-related burnout. Yes you can recover. But in my experience it takes longer. And we all know that being out of work for an extended period is not feasible for most people.
I do want to offer a different perspective though. In my case at least, what I decided was to get a less stressful job. Burnout is one of the main reasons I stepped back from management and went back to an individual contributor role. That was 18 months ago.
I want to fully acknowledge the privilege and good fortune that I have to be able to make that decision. I have strong prospects, my skills as an engineer had not atrophied very much. And in my industry, I didn’t make much less money than I did before. In fact I make more now.
That decision saved my marriage and probably my life. There’s a lot behind it that is hard to get into. But I was not in a good place. When I think about where I was 18 months ago and today, it’s like night and day. A couple months off wouldn’t have helped.
I share this in order to say a couple of things. 1) Burnout is real. It is not a personal failing. It is a real mental and physical condition. Take it seriously. At some point I had to accept that had not been at 100% since my daughter was born almost than 5 years ago.
That is not an exaggeration. The first year of being new parents was super hard for us. I was working at a fast-paced startup as a critical employee and leader. Aniyia also founded a startup. We weren’t sleeping. It was bad.
Even when I left that place, which was toxic for me, I didn’t slow down. I took another high stress role. I failed at that job because I was not showing up and doing the work I’m truly capable of. Leaving that job was when I accepted that it wasn’t going to get better on it’s own
So I made the tough decision to stop trying to take over the world. For a little while at least. I could do good work and have impact, but the weight of the world wasn’t on my shoulders. It has allowed me to recover and to show up for my family the way they needed.
I feel better than I have in years. My marriage is stronger than it has ever been. I’m able to take on new challenges. None of that would be true if I had tried to keep putting bandaids on a bullet. Please find ways to manage your burnout. It is possible, but not without change.
I almost forgot my second thing. 2) I started this thread to say that you should consider whether it’s work generally that’s burning you out, or something else. It could be the particular work you do, or the company. It could be a tendency to overwork, bad sleeping habits, etc.
One of the reasons that take time off doesn’t fix burnout is that often people don’t do anything to treat the condition. You just kind of veg out and enjoy not working. I was still stressed about other things (including now being out of work). Still not sleeping.
If you then go right back into a high stress work environment with long hours, it will re-trigger the burnout state instantly. You haven’t “recovered” at all. You have to change some significant things, and spend significant time in order to heal. That is the main thing to accept
Some things I have done during this 18 month period:
- Start regular therapy
- Set strict boundaries on work hours
- Actively reduce other stressors in my life
- Work on my poor sleeping habits (still a work in progress)
- Spend time healing and repairing important relationships

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More from @polotek

30 Sep
What's funny to me is that they either thought people wouldn't actually do it, or more likely they are confused and dismayed at how much "whole selves" some of us have. I'm reminded of @AnandWrites talking about how limited a lot of these tech leaders actually are.
I wanna try to convey something important. And it's hard because even I get tired of being cynical sometimes. But I think it's important to unpack what's really happening here as these companies admit that they don't care about what happens to you outside of work.
Those who advocate for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion have been pushing this mantra of "bring your whole self to work". We do it because we recognized it was necessary in order to make space for people who aren't white dudes. Our whole selves have never been welcome.
Read 15 tweets
30 Sep
This thread. Predominantly white male newsrooms need to be constantly reminded how to report what actually happened rather than "both sides" bullshit.
It's important for everybody to understand that last night's debate is a microcosm for how Trump treats everything. "Fuck your rules. I will cover over any disadvantage against me with chaos."
What we are seeing is that this is a tactic that Very Serious White Men are essentially powerless against. Without the ability force people into their preferred frame of "civility" and "decorum", they don't know what to do. They are caught flat-footed.
Read 5 tweets
29 Sep
In the same way that a lot of people who want to increase equity and freedom are finding their voice, a lot of white men who feel differently are finding theirs too.
Erica has a great thread breaking down the particulars of this issue. The short version is Armstrong uses a lot of words to say "don't talk about politics, get back to work".
I've seen people say Armstrong stands for nothing. I'd say this is a strong statement of what he does stand for. It's just not what you wanna hear. A lot of white men have been conditioned that amassing fortunes is both a personality and a morality. Nothing else really matters.
Read 5 tweets
27 Sep
There is a type of white guy who has genuinely convinced themselves that the way they engage is not shitty. Like they come at you sideways, but when you respond negatively they are legit confused about the clapback. No sense of self awareness about how they communicate.
I mean we all can stand a little more self reflection. I'm not judging people for being early in their journey of gaining self-awareness. My issue is when they hit you with "calm discussion" or "let's keep it civil" when they came looking for me on some bullshit from the jump.
It illustrated so directly how they live in a world that is supposed to bend around them. They don't have to take responsibility for how they behave. We are supposed to just absorb it and make it okay by choosing not to get upset. It's trash.
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep
This is a perfect example of why we are stuck in this place. This experiment is seeking to answer a question that misses the point entirely. And it muddies the waters on getting at the real issues. This person probably thinks they're helping.
Okay. Let’s talk about why it misses the point. Because a lot of people are still confused.
My interpretation is that this person wants to run an experiment to answer a particular question. “Does twitter’s cropping algorithm discriminate against Black faces in a statistically significant way”. But that question does not get at the real issue.
Read 12 tweets
18 Sep
This is very cool. A lot of devs ask for "resources" on how to learn something like react. It's tough to answer because it depends on what level you're at and what you want to learn about it.

@pixelpaperyarn has created a Trello board organized by topic.…
I like this approach for several reasons.

1. It's broken down by categories that allow people to self-serve. Maybe you just said "react" but what you really wanted to know about was how to hook react to a GraphQL backend. So you can go straight to that.
2. This way of looking at it shows the breadth and depth of the topic overall. It might be a bit overwhelming at first. But it's important to get a sense for the landscape. I think it helps people move towards asking more informed and targeted questions next time.
Read 5 tweets

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