2 min read

Act like an owner

How to resist burnout even when your compensation revolves around the stock price
Act like an owner
Photo by Tim Trad / Unsplash

Sustain issue #78 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

For those of you who work in tech, your total compensation is likely made up of both a salary and equity that’s dependent on the company stock.

This is done so your CEO can get up in front of the company and say you’re all owners and that your actions impact the future of the company.

It’s a smart but annoying psychological trick to get you to care more. And while they won’t say it, work more too. Because it’s clear as day, if you would all work a little harder then the stock price would be better and you’d have more cash. Easy.

Cynicism aside, when the collective has a stake in the company the actions they take move the company forward, no doubt.

But don’t let that notion blind you into working like crazy.

I can promise you that completing the thing your boss forgot they asked you to do after your 57th working hour of the week is not going to have any impact on the stock price. But you can bet that working like this will deplete the value of your work.

There’s a point of diminishing returns when it comes to the quality of your work.

So what does allow you to act like an owner and have a stronger impact on the stock price?

  • Get super clear on what the high-impact work is that needs to be done.
  • Wipe everything else away.
  • Reduce your meeting load so you have time and brain power to deliver amazing work.
  • Log off at a reasonable hour so you have enough time for daily restorative activities that allow you to show up fresh each day.
  • Take your PTO.

At this moment, there’s frenzied energy around the market. Even if the whole company acted like an owner to its fullest ability, it wouldn’t take tech stocks out of the gutter.

You may be an owner. But you’re not the CEO and you don’t need to shoulder the load of the company. So do what you can but remember to put yourself first.

Your actions alone won’t make you a superhero to the company. But you will be the villain if you deplete yourself so much today that you’re useless next month.

Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to eliminate burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) and suffered deep burnout and came back from it even though I never found a playbook for doing so. So, I'm writing it myself.

✉️ Want my top tips? I share my full step-by-step playbook in How I Quit Burnout, my premium newsletter. Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain