I am Burnt-Out. How do you get through tough times?

I feel like I am not getting anywhere. The world seems to be moving so fast and my progress feels like it is so slow. I want to switch job soon because I am unhappy with my position,. I am aiming for a data analyst position and I have been learning Python, Excel, Power BI, and Tableau. I am currently working on a project that does financial calculations with Python. I enjoy coding and learning, but I feel like I am behind in life. I get the impression that had I started sooner, I would have been were I want to be financially. I have applied for several jobs: I have applied for business & data analyst, support analyst, managerial positions, project management roles, etc. I have not applied to any dev jobs because I know I am underqualified. I have applied to internship and apprenticeships yet no reply. I am learning computer architecture, rom hacking, and reverse engineering for fun. While these topics are challenging, I enjoy learning how computer works. I am by no means an intermediate on any of these topics. I do know the basic syntax of Python, but I have no knowledge of OOP and algorithms. I feel like as if I am in a massive disadvantage because I did not have all the resources and made the right choices. I’ve been doing Chuck Severance and Chuck Black’s courses on Python and I am reading Introducing Python Modern Computing in Simple Packages as a reference. However, it is taking longer than I expected to get where I want to be. It seem like the effort I put in does not match the reward, and it is difficult to continuously use my willpower to encourage myself to keep going despite this. I would like some advice and hear other people’s ways of dealing with burnout. I do not want to quit I just need to hear other people’s perspective.

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Progress is slow because learning how to code is hard (I found it very hard and now I still think the same).
I’ve also thought and think that if I started earlier, it would have been better, of course. But those kind of thoughts are useless, we cannot go back in time. We just have to start. It took me a year and a half to learn what I thought I needed to learn to start applying for jobs (without counting the time where I dropped it because I thought it was too much for me and I wasn’t “build” for this).
One thing I can tell you that could be useful is that the more you learn, the faster you learn. What I mean is that I’m not learning at this moment at the same speed as when I started.

I used to compare myself to others and felt very slow, and if you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. I am me, others are others. But if I compare me to myself of 3 years ago there is difference: now I’m working as web developer while before I used to work in retail.

Having a very good motivation is very important as well, it keeps you focused. Mine was that I hated customers, minimum wage and how I was treated, and I couldn’t stand the thought of doing that till I am 65 years old.

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Hello :wave:,
I have been programming for a year. Burnout is very normal, what I do to avoid it is I do not code hardcore (24/7). I set a schedule where I only code.

Please take care of yourself. Don’t rush programming, it’s irresponsible if you ever heard someone say programming is easy.

The world does move so fast, specifically technology. However, trust me - it is only in your head when you say you’re not getting anywhere.

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perhaps find something else that you can learn; a short course of sorts that has nothing to do with coding maybe. or a job even if its small income that way you can relief the pressure.
meanwhile you learn.or learn with a minimum focus; e.g html +css as a specialisation. because javascript can be challenging. and then apply for jobs knowing you will learn Java Script as you go. you need something easier on the side.

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So the thing about career switching to a new career is there is really only 1 reward, its getting the new job and completing the transfer. Until then you really wont see any “rewards” to what your are doing, only progress. The trick is to see progress as the reward itself.

I usually provide the analogy of learning as climbing a mountain. If you only climb mountains to get to the top, you probably wont climb many. There’s too many obstacles, steep hills, tough work to get to the top. However, if you climb for the sake of the climb, the peak is just a point in the entire journey. Of course its still hard work, but that work in itself is the “reward”.

So there is some balance required here. Its understandable if you want to switch roles, but its very much a marathon than a sprint. If the pace you are taking is unsustainable you wont make it. Its basically impossible to know how long it will take, so you have to be setup for a long haul. If your feeling burnt out due to not seeing any returns, its natural to feel bummed out, but as long as you have work to grind at, you can still make it.

Just like climbing that mountain, you don’t reach the peak by “looking up” and seeing how far you need to go. You reach the peak by taking step by step and grinding it out. You say you like what your doing, if that is the case then keep doing it. As long as you like what you learn, find it interesting and keep at it, you will make it. It just might take a while, take a lot of work, and probably some luck.

Just be sure to pace yourself so you can keep taking those steps. Take a break every now and then. Don’t try to “sprint” up the mountain and do everything to get to the peak. Instead focus on the journey and individual steps you take. Improve your methods and consistency over time.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building, keep growing :+1:

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Having been a data analyst myself, I understand your path and I want to assure you that you’re headed in the right direction. Expanding your toolkit to include SQL and Python packages like Pandas for data manipulation and simple statistics might be beneficial. These skills tend to be well-regarded in data analyst interviews.

Great job on tackling data visualization with Tableau, too! Being proficient with matplotlib could further enhance your visualization skills.

As Bradtaniguchi mentioned, embracing learning as its own reward can bring great satisfaction. But I also empathize with your frustration about not reaching your career goals yet. One question you might want to ask yourself is: How are you measuring your progress? Are you applying for roles and going through interviews? If you haven’t started that process, it’s possible that you’ve made more progress than you realize!

Consider using platforms like LeetCode, which offer structured learning paths and can help track your progress towards interview readiness.

In my own journey, I’ve faced similar struggles while trying to transition from a data analyst to a machine learning engineer role. With emerging technologies, it’s easy to feel like we’re falling behind. The challenge is that companies often hire individuals with direct experience.

My strategy now is to undertake intensive self-study and take on projects related to my target field. I’m planning to develop tangible demos and write blog posts to showcase my skills in my portfolio/CV.

Remember, learning is a marathon, not a sprint. I suggest focusing on no more than two new skills at a time. Keep going, and celebrate your progress along the way!

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Thank you for your reply. Indeed progress is slow. It is difficult to keep that in mind while actively experiencing the learning process and expecting to find a job one day. I know how important it is to continue learning, but I find it extremely difficult to study when I am burnt-out. I wonder if it is ok to take a break. I try to code something everyday even if it is for just a little bit: the thought of not getting what I want in a couple of years makes me extremely agitated. I sometimes look at other people who have gotten on the path earlier and it makes me feel dejected. It definitely is not helpful as you said , so I will try not to compare myself to others. Also you are right about learning faster. If I look back to when I first started to learn coding, things were a lot harder to understand, and I could not see how some things can be used practically . However, now I am starting to see real world applications to a lot of the stuff I have learned --comparing myself to my past self is a good motivation strategy. I definitely learn a lot more now than I did before I started.

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Thanks xynoan. Yes setting a schedule sounds like a good idea. I will implement that in my routine. I like to get my flow going, but doing it 24/7 is stressful! I need to tell myself it is okay to take a day or two break.

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Absolutely, taking breaks is crucial. I’ve noticed that when I push past the point of fatigue, my code is often ridden with more bugs, leading to extended debugging sessions - definitely not as time-efficient as taking a break would have been! :smile: Some seasoned developers I look up to claim that they can manage around 4 hours of highly focused work each day. So, feel free to step away, take a walk, indulge in some yoga, handle house chores, or even enjoy a refreshing shower!

Additionally, it might be helpful if you consider sharing your daily progress or learnings here on the forum or any other supportive platform. This practice can provide you with a sense of achievement and progress. I’ve found it extremely beneficial in keeping me on track, especially given the encouraging and supportive community here on this forum.

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You definitely need to take a break for your brain to work properly. When I was studying, there were days where I had more time which I would spend the whole day coding, from morning to night, and I would get stuck and kept trying because at that point I was very very frustrated, which made everything worst because I started hating it. Everytime I had that feeling, I thought of quitting. And then, one or two days after, things made sense. And that still happens to me at work! I get stuck, get frustrated, and some time after things just make sense.
In my opinion, you don’t need to code everyday, if you take one or two days off a week is okay.
Don’t we do that when we work? Do we go seven days a week to the gym? Is completely natural to have a break. Is as natural as sleeping, if you don’ rest enough hours your brain won’t be efficient,
If you have more knowledge than your past self and you are learning faster than your past self, you are improving.

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