Have You Ever Burned Out?

isa2130953's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,399

Every other post someone is talking about getting burned out, or knowing someone who did but it is rare for someone to admit that they did.

Have you ever burned out? How did you bounce back? Is there any coming back?

What was the main cause for you?

Comments (31)

Jun 27, 2019

Guy at my firm had a TIA (aka mini-stroke) from pressure. Does that count?

    • 3
Jun 27, 2019

if it was work related than ABSOLUTELY..... worst kind too lol

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

Yes, two months working with tier 1 sponsor on a deal

Worked 3/4 all nighters + weekends + had to respond to emails at 3am

Was shuttered after it finished. Had to take shot loads of vitamins and slept entire weekend + team let me go home early for a week

Ultimately never fully recovered

    • 2
Jun 27, 2019

Sounds awful.... hopefully ur in a better job now. I had a friend in tech who would get hit up on slack around the clock. Worst burn out I ever saw

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

    • 1
Jul 5, 2019

In tech? How? Not claiming tech bankers have it easy but it's interesting hearing this..

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jun 28, 2019

What do you mean that you never fully recovered?

    • 2
Jun 27, 2019

Well a couple of weeks into the deal, I realised that the muscle near my left eye started twitching

Now whenever I don't get enough sleep, it starts twitching. Didn't have this before IB

    • 4
Jun 28, 2019

Me personally no, but with the wrong job I've come pretty darn close

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

yup same here. actually i can say i have at a prior job but it did not just do it to me. the company was completely toxic and it happened to nearly everyone

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Most Helpful
Jun 29, 2019

I've had a few bouts of burnout. Usually, it comes after a long period of non-stop work where I've busted my ass and am so exhausted by the end of it, I need 2-3 days just to recover and start to feel normal again. This meant taking a long weekend, saying I won't have access to my phone for the majority of the day (I'll be available from X to Y and will only answer emails and phone calls during that period), and just clear my mind by doing things that kept me out of touch. I can think of a few stories like that. However, most people understand that after running hard and firing on all cylinders for weeks and months on end, a break is needed. Even if it's a weekend to just not look at work, it can be enough to physically recover from the shitty situation.

While I wouldn't call it physical burnout, I did have a bout of emotional burnout. Now, before anyone says emotional burnout is bullshit, you have to look at it from a productivity standpoint. Physical burnout is working to the point of exhaustion by burning the candle at both ends and forcing your body to endure without recovery. Emotional burnout is caused by working in an environment that taxes your emotional wellbeing (toxic culture, vindictive culture, abusive culture, the kind of place you have an existential dread to show up at) to the point of exhaustion despite being able to execute the work. I had one boss where the emotional burnout was real and it took about a month and a half after leaving the recover. The work environment was so toxic that I was so emotionally drained and burned out, I couldn't do anything. Basically, I woke up every day and felt like a zombie in the last few weeks of working, and that carried over into the first few weeks of leave. The biggest thing that helped me recover was hitting the gym regularly, trying to keep a normal sleep schedule, and just disconnecting from the world to regain some sense of normalcy in my life.

Jun 27, 2019

I 100% absolutely agree with it from the mental and emotional standpoint. Some environments are toxic and they take their toll. I have had this happen to me. I have also physically burned out at an old job when I was on my feet for 13 hour days no lunch. Hope it all got better1

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 8, 2019

The emotional burnout piece really hit home for me. How did you get out of that?

Jun 29, 2019

PM me and we can discuss in greater detail, but the nuts and bolts of it really came down to needing to forcibly disconnect from the world. No Cell Phones. No Internet. No Nothing. I mean, I had to remove myself from everything for about a month and a half or so just to clear my head and recover. I basically said on day 3 or 4 after leaving that I needed to focus on things that made me happy and basically spent the time doing what I truly enjoyed that didn't require me going overboard (ex. traveling) on expenses. I spent time going hiking and started something that I really wanted to complete, like doing the ADK46, returned to one of my hobbies and designed and built some furniture, tried recipes I always wanted to cook but never had the time to do, hit the gym harder than I had in a while, and basically tried to stop and smell the roses.

The thing about toxic environments is that the emotional toll they create can create feelings of depression. The hardest thing to do is get over that depression. It's a struggle. Ask anyone who has gone through it. By disconnecting from the world and reconnecting with yourself, it becomes easier to get through the depression by returning to enjoying what makes you happy and finding ways to get rid of the stress in a healthy manner.

Jul 2, 2019

Yes. We have talked about this before on prior forums I think but I definitely have. Honestly working full time and full time school even without a bad environment can burn you out too. I have had my fair share of experiences in my day and learned to always pace myself.

Jun 27, 2019

Right, well unfortunately I have a tough time not stacking up too many responsibilities at once which can cost me dearly. I can definitely improve in that area to avoid spreading myself so thin.

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 2, 2019

I'd say most people who survived a few years of IB can say so.... atleast I definitely have

Jun 27, 2019

especially with some of those first year intern positions. that can definitely pack a punch but for me my worst was not in finance ironically enough. it was in tech

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 2, 2019

I've burned out, questioned my sanity, had bouts of self-doubt etc. Usually comes after working 7 days/week for a couple months. I don't work in IB so my burnout is generally self-inflicted and comes from the high highs and low lows of operating. I can't imagine burning out in IB and not having the flexibility to escape for a few days.

Trick for me is to prioritize deadlines, delegate where I can, and surround myself with mentors/advisers. Bounce back usually requires a staycation weekend or, if I'm lucky, a week or so traveling to the beach/mountains.

For those that burn out in IB - remember that there are people all over the world that would literally kill to work in your cube and get paid so handsomely for it. Perspective my friends.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

I have never personally done IB but I have done analyst programs. I work in VC but tech was my worst overworking experience. i know a lot of ppl would love to work in it as well. just my specific employer was absolutely toxic

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 2, 2019

Culture makes all the difference. People underestimate the psychological benefits of allowing people to WFH as needed, providing in-office perks, holidays etc. especially in a highly demanding and competitive industry.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

    • 1
Jul 5, 2019

And exactly why were you working 7 days a week for a couple months on end...?

Jul 12, 2019

Friend of mine is an Associate in MM PE and has had streaks like that if only junior working on multiple deals

Jul 5, 2019

After a year of fitting super well in the office, I started working with a disruptive team on a deal, with no communication and super long nights for 3 months straight, and I also had an additional deal and other marketing stuff. Burned out after this and wanted to quit - still thinking about changing bank. I guess that my burnout is more of a "I'm fed up with this shit" than a "I'm out of banking forever".
People whom you work with make the whole difference. I've also experienced that stagnant deals don't help

    • 1
Jul 5, 2019

Mine was IM, not IB, but I was taking on very heavy workloads that other analysts and associates were not taking on. I was also driving an hour in the morning at 5am, and usually wouldn't leave till about 830 or 9pm, with a 2 hour drive back home due to traffic. That was the regular workload but it could frequently be a 5am -1am day during QE.

I tried to make it work, but , my temper would explode at simple things like dropping a coffee mug at home because I had to remain calm during the daily fire-drills and politics in the office. Ended up not having energy to workout, see people, even tend to family stuff.

Basically emotionally shut down as a coping mechanism as well. Ended up straining my relationship with my girlfriend as we couldn't emotionally connect, I could never just relax. About 2 weeks after I left the firm, we broke up after 3 1/2 years (I already had a ring and was planning on proposing within these last 5 months). Wish I just hadn't gone into it, she was a sweetheart.

    • 2
Jul 5, 2019
Comment

Dayman?

    • 1
Jul 8, 2019
Comment