Interview with a SoftGeneral software engineer: How to reach goals and not to burn out
Burnout amongst tech employees is a typical case. The UK software company Haystack survey shows that more than 80% of tech workers experience burnout, and the pandemic is not the primary reason.
Here’s the thing: most software developers say that the way of working hasn’t really changed. The work environment, yes. And perhaps the “how” changed. But still, they are facing increased workloads and are always concerned about software reliability. Some are even worried ‘to a great extent.’
Meet Kris Symanski, one of the software engineers at SoftGeneral. Anna Nazarenko, CEO at SoftGeneral and certified lifestyle coach, interviewed Kris on whether it is possible to reach career goals without burnout.
A.N.: When did you realize you have burnout?
K.S: I’ve been having these growing pains for a while, and conflicts would hit me hard. I mean, it’s not just at work. This “weird’ state affected my relationships. I felt I didn’t have reserves at all, and I needed to find a way through.
A.N. How did you come to life-coaching as a way out?
K.S: Well, first, I tried meditation, and it did work. But you know, you get back to your reality, and things are the same there. And yes, you’re calmer after the meditation, but it did not solve the root of the problem. I realized that my mindset, approach to life, and maybe some toxic habits needed to be changed. So, I asked you, Anna, to help me because I wasn’t sure I would get through this on my own.
A.N.: Can you describe your experience throughout the number of sessions?
When I embarked on my first coaching session, I was nervous. I had an idea of what I needed help with, but I couldn’t figure out how to explain. Luckily my coach has this incredible ability to pick up on what’s said and not.
So, first, we got to the conclusion that I needed a smart planning routine. Then, I managed to realize my main goals and the ways to achieve a resourceful state. Herewith, it’s super important to assess correctly what you can actually do and take a comfortable pace.
Also, I learned to enjoy the process. I realized that the path to your career growth should not necessarily go through ashes and ruins. We have this ‘work ethic’ paradigm in our society saying that if you want to succeed, you have to work your ass off. That’s why I felt guilty when I took an unplanned nap or something.
So, the very next step was to define the next step in my career and ‘healthy’ ways to make it. I had to figure out what I really wanted as well as redefine my core goals and values. Also, if I got the result, what would I feel?
We’ve been talking about the order in life at all levels: home, work, and most important – in our mind. Finally, I realized that balance was the key to prevent or at least mitigate burnout.
A.N.: What has changed since your last session with a life coach?
K.S: Wow, a lot of things have changed! I feel disentangled from many unimportant things that used to stress me out. I have a way bigger understanding of my behaviors and my needs. What’s more, I feel empowered because I ‘cleared up’ my actual goals and learned how to achieve them without stressing out and emotional breakdown.
I have a plan and am taking baby steps in a comfortable space to achieve my goals. I went beyond my job and identified what I like. So, currently, I’m discovering new directions, which also helps me stay positive at work.
A.N.: What’s your biggest takeaway from sessions with a life coach?
K.S: Actually, there are a lot of them. But my No.1 is this Robin Sharma method of 90 minutes. The point is to focus on the main task or goal during the first 90 minutes of your working day. You should do this for 90 days. So, thanks to this, I have focused on my goal for 2,700 minutes per month. I’m happy that my life became so intentional.
Here, at SoftGeneral we pay a lot of attention to the internal state of every employee. For this, we organize one-on-one sessions with a life coach twice a month to let our team balance their lives. We believe that work doesn’t need to fill more than 60% of your mind – otherwise, it’s a high risk of becoming depressed by any challenges. Interested in practicing this approach? Send us your resume, and we’ll find the best position fitting your skills.