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10 Jobs to Try If You’re Feeling Burned Out on Programming 

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Programming is an attractive career field because of its earning potential, its flexibility, and its high demand, but it can get tiring after a while. If you’re feeling burned out on programming, it may be in your best interest to try a different job or career path, but what are the best alternatives to try?

The Burnout Problem

In the programming world, most people burnout for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Staring at a screen. Getting to sit down all day and stare at a screen is preferable to hard labor for many people, but staring at a screen is still tiring. Even if you can get past computer vision syndrome, you may feel exceptionally exhausted at the end of each long day.
  • Working long hours. Speaking of long days, programmers are often forced to work long hours and adhere to tight deadlines. If you’re tired of this cycle, or if you just want a career with greater flexibility, you might feel ready to move on.
  • Monotonous, repetitive work. Some aspects of programming are intellectually stimulating, such as solving tough problems. But other aspects only exist to make monotonous, repetitive work. You might feel burned out if you see your work as doing the same thing over and over.
  • Seemingly useless tasks. What are you really accomplishing in your work? If all you’re doing is reviewing code and squashing tiny bugs, you might feel burned out because your work isn’t amounting to much.

Jobs to Try If You’re Feeling Burned Out on Programming

To address these specific problems, you’ll need to look for specific types of careers. These careers, in addition to solving all of the typical burnout problems for programmers, are relatively accessible, high paying, and in demand.

  1. Auto mechanic. First, consider applying to be an auto mechanic. Right now, there’s a surge in demand for auto mechanics, due to a lack of interested applicants. Even if you have little to no experience in the world of automotive maintenance and repairs, many organizations would be willing to hire and train you. This is a career that forces you to use your hands, and you’ll probably do something new every day, so it’s an excellent break from your programming work.
  2. Educator. You could also move on to become an educator. Depending on your familiarity and experience with your existing programming language, you could serve as a tutor or teacher to bring these skills to new people. Alternatively, you could provide lessons or tutoring in some other area of expertise, such as teaching a musical instrument or an academic subject like math.
  3. Consultant. Have you thought about becoming a consultant? If you have ample professional experience and people respect your opinion, you could serve more organizations and individuals in a consulting capacity. You won’t need any special training; you’ll just need to know how to sell yourself and build your client base.
  4. Salesperson. You also don’t need any special training to become a salesperson. If you’re tired of feeling isolated as a programmer, this could be the best career path for you, since it allows you to talk to many different people every day. Of course, if you’re naturally introverted or if you hate the idea of trying to persuade others, this may not be ideal.
  5. Massage therapist. You don’t need much training to become a massage therapist, but you could make between $49,882 and $64,010 even if you’re just starting out. In each session, you’ll work with your hands and help people relax and feel better. You’ll make decent money, you’ll make a positive difference for people, and you’ll rarely need to stare at a screen.
  6. Financial planner/manager. If you’re good with money, or if you’re interested in becoming good with money, you could pursue a career as a financial planner or manager. In this career path, you’ll help other people manage their budgets and financial decisions – and the information you pick up along the way can help you in your own financial life.
  7. Personal trainer. Are you interested in getting in shape and staying in shape? If so, you might consider becoming a personal trainer. Your main job is helping other people get in shape, but because you’ll be so active, your own fitness will come naturally.
  8. Chef. If you like exercising your culinary creativity, or if you just like the camaraderie of a busy kitchen, consider becoming a chef. With minimal education and training, you can provide excellent service to thousands of paying customers.
  9.  Project manager. You already have experience being a team member on various projects, so why not channel it in an attempt to become a project manager? Smart resource planning and ongoing communication are the biggest keys to success here.
  10.   Miscellaneous freelancer. The gig economy is still operating with full force. That means you could easily build a career as a miscellaneous freelancer, dabbling in work like writing, photography, and even small programming jobs if you want to put your old skills to good use.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling burned out on programming, especially if you’ve been in this career field for many years. Sometimes, the best course of action is to simply change gears and try a different path. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to programming.