The tech industry, known for its demanding work culture and long hours, seems to be witnessing a shift as hundreds of tech workers express their desire for low-stress job options.
Social media platforms like Blind and Reddit have become spaces for tech workers to discuss their burnout and seek advice on finding jobs with less pressure.
A Meta worker recently posted on Blind, an anonymous job site, seeking suggestions for “low-pressure jobs.” The post received 100 responses and was one of many similar posts across Blind and Reddit in recent months. The worker expressed feeling burnt out and lacking motivation, particularly due to the stress of performance-improvement plans (PIPs) and the constant fear of not meeting expectations. While the worker doesn’t mind working 50-hour weeks, the pressure of PIPs has taken a toll, especially after having children.
Performance-improvement plans are typically implemented when employees underperform or receive negative performance reviews. These plans serve as a path to improvement or disciplinary action and are often seen as precursors to termination. Big Tech companies like Meta, which have undergone mass layoffs, have increasingly utilized PIPs. Meta claims that these performance reviews aim to incentivize employees and provide actionable feedback.
Workers from other tech companies like Snap have shared their experiences of leaving high-pressure environments like Meta. They express relief and an improvement in their well-being after transitioning away from such cultures. The issue of worker burnout was previously addressed by Meta in 2021, emphasizing the challenges of developing new technologies and systems. However, the company did not respond to a request for comment regarding the recent concerns.
The sentiments expressed on Blind and Reddit reflect a growing trend of tech workers seeking less stressful jobs, with some even suggesting leaving the industry altogether. Government work, the auto industry, and project management roles are mentioned as potential alternatives. In addition, some workers believe that high-paying, low-stress tech jobs do not exist, emphasizing the need for a career shift outside the industry.
The desire for low-stress jobs is not limited to social media platforms. A Reddit thread garnered thousands of responses from workers discussing low-stress jobs with salaries over $100,000. This shift in attitude towards work is seen as a departure from the “hustle culture” that has long been prevalent in Silicon Valley, where working long hours and sacrificing personal time were regarded as badges of honor. Factors such as mass layoffs, concerns about job security due to AI advancements, and a decrease in Big Tech perks and salaries contribute to this changing landscape.
The era of relentless work and the glorification of long hours in the tech industry seems to be fading away. As younger workers prioritize personal well-being and work-life balance over high pay, the industry may need to adapt to retain its workforce and address the issue of burnout.