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Burnout

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    Burnout

    I've been contracting with very little time off over the past few years and have got myself into a situation were I am burnt-out and in need of a complete break.

    I have the opportunity of a very chilled permanent job in academia for a few years, but can't help feeling just taking the summer off might be the best option.

    There is a lot going on in my mind regarding up coming 2020 changes to contracting and on going EU exit chaos, so I am finding the decision difficult.

    Just wondering if any fellow contractors have fallen into a similar situation regarding mental exhaustion and have you taken a good chunk of time off and got back in the game?

    #2
    I smashed through it and came out of it the man I am now.

    Tight boots are your answer. Get yourself a pair at least one size too small. Good boots, mind, not Next crap. They have to fit well but just be too tight all over. As long as it's a too tight feeling and not painful then that will take your mind off the exhaustion and allow you to just drive though it.

    Sorted.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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      #3
      Originally posted by PlanB View Post
      I've been contracting with very little time off over the past few years and have got myself into a situation were I am burnt-out and in need of a complete break.

      I have the opportunity of a very chilled permanent job in academia for a few years, but can't help feeling just taking the summer off might be the best option.
      Surely the answer is in your post?
      'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

      Comment


        #4
        If your worried about loosing billing hours. What is going to cost you more a mental breakdown, and 6+ month to recover (if you recover), divorce (if your married) or a few month's off over the summer?

        However sometimes a change is as good as a break and I have left contracts that are very well paid but were nothing but hassle and a death march project to take more interesting, closer to home and more relaxed projects. Only you can decide if a change or a break is required.
        Make Mercia Great Again!

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          #5
          I felt the same a few years ago, probably around 2014/15, but those feelings have now passed me by. I made a couple of posts about it back then I recall, but I can't be 4rsed hunting them down. But looking back I was in a rut and working with technology that had served me well for many years but was clearly on the way out. Aside from being bored to death with it, new/interesting opportunities were few and far between. So I went on a programme of reskilling and it fixed things for me, but omg it was hard work. So my advice would be to take some time off if you can afford to and do some reskilling of your own maybe.

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            #6
            it's better to burn out than fade away

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              #7
              So long as you've got an adequate war chest, then take some time off.
              Time is precious and its easy to get bogged down with taking renewal after renewal or new opportunities when they present themselves because its just well convenient at the time. Do something you enjoy, have some fun, spend quality time with partner and/or kids.
              Then when you feel better jump back in... I've done this a few times both forced and unforced. When I was younger I worried like hell about not having a client. Now, when I get a chance for a break I welcome it, and I'm sure I come back a more effective and motivated technologist with some better ideas, rather than someone who's a bit jaded from the daily grind..

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                #8
                If you have got the money then take the Summer off then look again when everyone returns to work in September.

                The bigger question is how it got to this? If it is a simple as not taking breaks between contracts then that is easy enough fixed but don't be one of those contractors who tries to go native and do every hour god sends for the honour of getting a month extension finishing off the last bits of work on a project while your colleagues have done eight hour days and are enjoying the break.

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                  #9
                  had a similar feeling at the end of last year, had been at it 11 years, never had more than a 2 week break (xmas shutdowns) and the annual week long annual holiday.

                  i was in a crap 6 month contract that i hated, decided i wasn't going to renew but only had 3 months worth of warchest, but took the chance

                  a 6 week break really helped recharge the batteries (and get a load of odd jobs around the house done)

                  start of the year landed another contract which at the moment is turning out very nicely

                  everyone's circumstance are different but don't be afraid to take a break

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As GoT would say, you're a long time deed.

                    I will never understand why people will work, work, work and then wonder why they feel ill after a decade or two without a break.

                    Take it as a lesson learned. Downtime is just as important (more so, I'd say) than up time. You cannot be truely effective in your work if you never take a break.

                    If your warchest allows it, take the summer off. Go somewhere interesting and chill/experience something new.

                    When you come back, whatever mode of work you choose to follow, make sure you take regular holidays. Factor in days off into your daily rate - I aim to bill in 40 weeks what I need for a full year (plus buffer but you get my gist).

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