I started watching Casey Neistat's latest video about YouTubers experiencing burn out. I eye-rolled at the title but I respect Casey's views on life, so I watched it. It took me two sittings because in the beginning he seemed to over-empathize with his peers and I quickly lost interest with the story he told.
Chasing notoriety on any medium is not sustainable. We've seen so many people crash and burn because of that. Promising careers in, well, whatever - cut short because... well, who knows what they were thinking or what their motivations were at the time
Furthermore, people like first responders, war fighters, and emergency medical staff face difficult issues daily. Compassion fatigue is a huge one. PTSD, death... those are difficult careers!
So, who deserves our empathy and time between the two groups? Well, as compassionate and understanding human beings, our answer should be "both". We should care for *all* our brothers' and sisters' well-being... regardless of chosen career.
The questions we *should* be asking are, do you own your life? Do you own your decisions. Do you own the consequences of your decisions?
The answer to these questions are not a prerequisite to deserving compassion. Sometimes, the consequences of our decisions are unforeseen, debilitating and long-lasting. It definitely helps when friends and family respond to someone's needs, furthermore, it should never prevent them from reaching out.
What feels right, though, is that more study is required on burnout. "Burn Out" should be a spectrum, yet also something that requires an official diagnosis. Right now, anyone can say they have burnout without really understanding it, without really understanding that there are people deeply, physically, mentally, and emotionally affected by it. This makes it harder for people with actual burnout to get the help they need.
In the technology industry, specifically software engineering, there are a growing number of people that are overworked and over-stressed and I want to understand the problem so I can help with solutions. Personally, I've felt some effects of burnout, although never to the degree where I can say I have experienced true burnout. Still, I am aware of it; what it can do to you and what it can do to the people around you. As an area of scientific research, I know nothing, but I'm learning more. Here's a collection of articles that I've started to read that might help if you're looking to learn more, as well.
As always, be considerate and be understanding. You usually can't go wrong with that approach. 😉