A career in information technology (IT) has its benefits. It usually pays well, and you’ll often have the option to work flexible hours or remotely if necessary. But, there are also significant downsides, including having to spend all day staring into a screen and trying to figure out crashes and bugs that don’t make any sense. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dev manager or a help desk tech, because there are things you can do every day to keep your passion for technology alive and well (and your stress levels low).
Here are a few ideas:
Add to your knowledge base (or share what you know)
Technology changes rapidly, and what was innovative in 2018 may be outdated by this summer. This can leave you feeling out of the loop, which can contribute to feelings of career burnout. Make a point to stay up to date on the latest breakthroughs, rules, and regulations. This is especially important if you work in an industry that prioritizes security.
For example, if you work in the financial sector, you’ll need to be up to date on cybersecurity regulations. Staying abreast of this information will make you more valuable to your company, and can give you an edge if you decide to change careers later. Thinking about the cybersecurity example, you should know that people in these types of roles an average of $90,000 – $185,000 a year, and there’s room for career advancement.
As you continue learning new methods and processes, you can also reignite your passion by sharing your skills with others. If you have a degree, you might be able to find a part-time job teaching night classes at your local college. There are also websites that allow you to publish learning materials and earn a passive income by sharing your knowledge with up and comers in the IT world.
Relieve the strain on your eyes
Sitting at a computer for hours each day is part of the job. But the light coming from that screen can take a toll on your eyes. AllAboutVision.com explains that blue light, which is dominant in display screens, scatters easily. This means your eyes have more trouble focusing, and this can lead to ocular discomfort, headaches, and mental fatigue. It might seem like a small thing, but wearing special glasses that reduce blue light can have a positive impact on your workday.
Leave work at work
Although it’s true that one of the benefits of the digital age is that you can work remotely, it has made it so that we feel like we have to be on the clock and ready for action 24/7. Maintaining this mindset, however admirable, can actually hurt your career in the long run. Instead of constantly toiling over assignments (and then procrastinating later), make a point to disconnect during specific hours. This might be from the time you leave the office until the next morning, for example. Even a short timeframe, such as the two hours around family dinner time, can help you improve your work/life balance.
Another idea is to remove your work email from your personal phone. If you don’t already have a hobby, StormTheCastle.com offers this list of outdoor recreation activities, which are the perfect distraction to keep your mind off of work. You should find other ways to relieve work stress, such as eating healthy, practicing mindfulness, saying “no,” and getting enough sleep.
Most importantly, try to remember why you got into your particular profession. It may have been that you were intrigued by computers or wanted to flex your problem-solving muscles. Whatever the reason, the above tips can help you keep burnout at bay so that you can continue to earn an income and provide for your family.