IT burnout: pay attention to these 9 warning signals

If you experience burnout, these tips on fighting or tackling it can help.

Image: Alexmia, Getty Images / iStockphoto

You could burn out your IT job and not even know it.

Even if you do not like your job or do not get what you deserve, this does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from a burnout. While this may be contributing reasons for feeling burned out during work, there are usually other factors that reinforce the cause of burnout. Some causes of job burn-out include lack of control, unclear work expectations, work stress, imbalance between work and private life and more.

Burnout happens slowly. It is similar to a burning candle that melts over time: as soon as the wick is used up, the flame of the candle goes out.

SEE: 10 ways to prevent developers from burning out (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Our mind feeds internally with increasing stimuli from stressors and we respond externally in ways that are not good for our body. Often these side effects also affect the people around us, which only exacerbates stress, leading to greater problems in our personal and professional lives.

We all have our own unique wiring and chemistry, and what one person can laugh at as trivial can be the proverbial last drop in the bucket for another. Note these possible signs of burnout.

  1. Irritability

Some IT professionals read this first sign and spot. You can support tens or thousands of end users who all want to solve their problems first; this sometimes comes with little attention to their colleagues, including the IT professional where they came for help.

It can be easy to “lose someone”, especially if he is rude or rude. Although irritability is a completely natural response in customer-focused positions, it is the degree of irritation that marks the distinction between someone who needs a five-minute break and someone who may be prey at the end of their life.

2. Indifference

IT work often requires attention to detail. If you feel indifferent, the problem that you are expected to solve is likely to snowball, and you will continue to lose interest in your job. Feelings of indifference create an endless loop that usually leads to administrative action by management if this is unchecked.

3. Low morale

Our moral level has a direct effect on how well (or not) we perform our functions. If even one team member has a low morale, this can affect the entire team – causing even other team members to burn out.

4. Disillusion

We all felt that we were abandoned when we believed that something would be better or different than what it turned out to be. This is not exclusive to the work; however, sometimes the repetitive nature of processing similar requests or repeatedly performing the same tasks can maintain this sense of disillusion.

5. Emotional outbursts

Emotions influence our thoughts, speech and actions. Like irritability, being emotional does not necessarily mean that we are under pressure – it depends on the extent to which we allow emotions to dictate our actions and words. Responding to anger or even imminent violence because your lunch break is accidentally interrupted is not a suitable response to a request.

6. Depression or other mental illness

Depression and other mental illnesses must be diagnosed by a physician or a physician, and I am not a physician or therapist. If you are at an emotional low that does not seem to tremble you, especially when you are at work, consider seeking professional help. In the short term, it may be useful to inform a friend or supervisor about work issues and to express your complaints.

SEE: Photos: 10 apps to manage work stress and mental health (TechRepublic)

7. Shortness of breath and other physical symptoms

It has been proven that stress and anxiety affect our body with physical symptoms. Issues range from tight joints, neck and back pain and tension to shortness of breath or tightness in the chest, these can be symptoms of life-threatening conditions and require immediate medical attention. If you feel any of these symptoms, consult your doctor. For health-related problems caused by stress or anxiety, try to take a few minutes throughout the day to focus on mindfulness exercises you can do at your desk, or go outside for fresh air, sunlight or a rack to help you decompress.

8. Exhaustion

We work an average of eight hours a day, and that requires a holistic burden for us. Feeling tired after work is common, but feeling exhausted for an hour of your day may be an indication that something is not quite right. By thinking about your problems or concerns, it can help you face the cause and develop a plan to resolve the internal conflict, giving relief and a feeling of renewed energy.

9. Insulation

If you are usually social at work and you begin to isolate yourself, consider what has changed personally or professionally. You can benefit from speaking to someone in your company or a therapist.

Minimize or prevent burnout

Give priority to your health

First and foremost are you. Make the necessary efforts to put your needs before the job. I know it is easier said than done, but it can be done. If you experience any of the above symptoms, your body is screaming and needs help.

Take mini breaks

Depending on the level of IT work you perform, you can run around all day extinguishing fires or sitting at your desk for hours to end conversations, typing or a combination thereof. Neither of these situations is a good omen for our bodies, so plan breaks of around 5-10 minutes in any hour or so. Maybe take a brisk walk to disconnect and clear your mind.

Eat healthier foods

Skipping lunch is one of the worst things you can do to yourself if you feel burned. Take the time to “get away from it all” and enjoy a stress-free meal while you watch what you get. Processed foods high in fat, cholesterol and sodium are not only bad for your health, but they mess with our bodies in ways that can haunt us later in life. Moreover, it is scientifically proven that consuming caffeine and sugar foods exacerbates the effects of stress by enhancing anxiety.

Train regularly

An activity that helps me enormously when the pressure comes on me is going for a walk or running. For years I have walked several kilometers a day to train and prevent the effects of stress. Regular exercise makes a lot of contributions to overall physical and mental health. If you have limited time, a 10-minute walk can do wonders multiple times a day; or, if you prefer a gym, take your lunch break to go to the gym.

Center yourself through meditation

I recently integrated meditation into my daily routine and can confirm the power of this easy to follow exercise. I am not advocating more than just finding a quiet place to close your eyes and concentrate on deep breathing in and out for 10 minutes. It is perfectly natural for our minds to race and invent a storm, but try to focus on steady breathing. If it helps, there are some excellent YouTube videos or apps (such as Calm and Headspace) that offer free, guided meditation to clear your mind and help yourself through everything you come across.

SEE: 11 meditation apps for better sleep and less stress (CNET)


I have recorded this separately from meditation because it would surprise you how often we forget to breathe naturally during our day. When we feel stressed or anxious, our breathing is more superficial than normal and we cannot properly oxygenate our body. This leads to a loop where we do not breathe because we are stressed, and we emphasize more because we do not breathe. Break the chain by setting aside for one or two minutes every hour to stop everything you do and breathe in deeply through the nose and fully exhale through the mouth. It helps us to focus better on what we do.

Ask for help

I am never surprised how often I offer help to colleagues, and yet someone rarely asks for help when they are in trouble. Isn’t it better at the end of the day to ask for help before you feel overwhelmed? Ask a colleague or supervisor for help before the task gets out of hand. Your body and your colleagues will thank you for that!

Change function roles

IT departments can be very flexible and accommodating; After all, rotation of tasks is a best practice for security. If you don’t feel too comfortable doing what you have been assigned to, it can be an easy solution to request to be moved to another position or department. There may even be someone in the same boat as you in another department to facilitate the change and solve two problems at once.

Go away

No, don’t run for the hills (although I said running is good to minimize stress). But take time off to get off work and get closer to the things that make you happy. If there is nothing else, the time that has passed can provide clarity about how best to proceed. Take a day for mental health. Even taking a day or two off when you can will help.

Change companies

If you love what you do, but not the environment or culture in which you do it, it may be time for a change. Sometimes a job does not fit well. And although that’s okay, working for another company might solve all your worries.

Find a new career path

I do not call this option light. For me, this is the nuclear approach – destroying what you have achieved and rebuilding everything.

IT is not for everyone. Regardless of where you fall into the spectrum of enjoying IT work and simply see it as a job that pays the bills, it might be better to find a new career that fits your lifestyle better than moving on the same down-and-down path. to go.

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for every IT professional who thinks he is suffering from burnout. Regardless of how you deal with burnout, remember that your health is more important than any other job.

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