Burnout is definitely a term common within the IT world. There is plenty of research to back up the notion that IT is a breeding ground for burnout. This begs the question of why? Why do so many IT professionals experience burnout?
There is no single cause but rather multiple contributors that when compounded, can result in burnout. One such contributor is long hours. It’s well known that IT folks put in extremely long hours, much more than the typical 8 hours. This is partly due to the way IT folks work as well as the nature of the work.
Another contributor to burnout is a lack of recognition. This is not specific to IT but it is a well known fact that IT can be a thankless job. Sales, marketing, finance — these are the departments that tend to get the recognition. I know many companies that publically celebrate the successes of their Sales departments. IT is generally behind the scenes and therefore, does not get the recognition that other departments do.
Respect, or should I say a lack thereof, also contributes to burnout. Imagine going to work each day to a thankless job. Take for example, the help desk staff or server administrators who go relatively unnoticed until there is a problem. And when a problem does occur, these folks are on the receiving end of everyone’s frustration. There is little respect for the work that IT folks do on a daily basis to keep everything running smoothly.
As one offs, these contributors may not seem like much. When you experience all three on a regular basis, one can start to see how it can lead to burnout. A good manager should be on the lookout for symptoms of burnout, but I’ll save this discussion for another time.
[awsbullet:Overcoming Job Burnout]