A famous former NYT editor who recently quit his job gave some brilliant advice to anyone feeling burned out

A famous former NYT editor who recently quit his job gave some brilliant advice to anyone feeling burned out
Ad agencies are introducing new efforts and policies to try to avoid staff burnout during the pandemic. Stelios Kirtselis/Getty Images
  • Choire Sicha, the former editor of the NYT Styles section, quit his job this year, citing burnout.
  • Sicha detailed the challenges he faced at The Times in his Substack newsletter this month.
  • "You can't solve your own burnout," Sicha wrote. "You can only change the system or your situation."

Choire Sicha, the former Styles editor at The New York Times, announced in April that he would quit his highly regarded position. On June 21, Sicha revealed the toll that burnout had taken on his mental health and offered important advice for anyone dealing with similar career challenges.

"If you are unhappy, or if you frequently say you are 'exhausted,' if maybe you cry at work a little more often than you personally think is reasonable, if you wake up in the morning and consider dying instead of going to work, you CLEARLY owe it to yourselves to do something else," he said in his Substack newsletter.

Sicha, famous in the media world for reinventing The Times' Styles section, will start his new job as an editor-at-large for New York magazine on August 1.

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Sicha said his friend had suggested to him that he talk about his experience with burnout to encourage others, especially men, to do the same.

In an Indeed survey conducted in March, most respondents said they believed that burnout had worsened during the pandemic - and those who worked virtually were more likely to say so. More than half of the respondents indicated that they were suffering from things like frequent exhaustion, lack of motivation, and lack of focus.


"Will making a change maybe make you poor or scared? SURE. Could the change be bad? ABSOLUTELY," Sicha wrote. "But the alternative - staying put, degrading like an old yogurt - is to become a worse person. You can't solve your own burnout, you can only change the system or your situation."

Sicha said the career shift made him "feel like a new man" and joked about regaining responsibility for his opinions.

"On your last day at The New York Times - and my last day was Friday - they come out with a big greasy cardboard box from the basement and return to you all the opinions you had when you started working there," Sicha wrote. "Wait, imperialism … I'm against it??? Wow, what else is in here I wonder! This is a big relief but also distressing in that now I must take responsibility for myself."

You can subscribe here to Sicha's newsletter, which we first saw via the New York Post.