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Programmatic Trading - Career Pivots

In the depths of Reddit, there are those programmatic traders who come in search of answers. Sometimes they find them, sometimes they don't - but in this post let's explore the story of a trader who is really struggling and wants to get out of the field.

Let's see their question.

Programmatic is a cold, hard bitch of a job. Let's say that first off, I sympathize with the OP and have probably posted this same thing or at least googled it myself I'm sure. I have made the decision to dedicate some time to this question though, and with some help from a few friends I have some options for the OP which I will reach out to them with.

Option 1: Stay in your current job

Taking off the advertiser hat and swapping momentarily for my therapist beret, your mindset about your work is incredibly important and I have a recommendation you could try out. Based on my experiences with burnout I have been through a period where I'm incredibly busy, like 50+ hours a week or even just an excessively full mental-load (by that I mean an inordinate amount of mentally taxing work, like campaign building or QA). That's usually followed by a chance to catch my breathe for a few days, during which time I realize I am now behind on the next thing I need to do. Around this time I also find I am behind on timesheets, falling behind on emails, little things like that. Pretty soon I am feeling fully aware of my misery and wondering why I keep doing this to myself as I stare down another campaign. I can honestly say I haven't felt like this in a while now, because I started looking for ways to simplify my job and do less - I think burn out largely comes from doing more work than we need to with no noticeable change in the outcome (by that I mean our job satisfaction, our recognition, pay raises, client happiness, etc.). Now I know you're not a prog trader anymore, but the same principle applies. So if you break your job down to it's simplest form and stop doing as much as you can, then look for ways to make your self happy doing what's left you could find you don't hate your job.

Option 2: Figure out why you've been unhappy in advertising lately, find a different job in advertising that fulfills this.

Let's say it really has been as simple as figuring out how to do less at your job, and maybe take it less seriously - that helps for a while ... but the hurt is still there. Despite improvements at a certain point you may had enough bad experiences that you may just not feel comfortable there anymore, or your burnout has reached a point where you have damaged relationships with coworkers/negatively impacted their perception of you.

In a situation like this you are best served by spending time understanding why you got burnt out and working on a plan to improve the situation in your next position, and going into a new job you should be able to communicate your needs to your prospective employer without giving away too much information about any struggles you may have had. I get this is sensitive stuff.

Option 3: Become a freelancer

Search LinkedIn for remote contract work in advertising, or contact a group like We Are Rosie - I've worked on several We Are Rosie projects and love working with them. Can't recommend freelancing enough if you're frustrated and need more autonomy. I was able to get to about $6k in monthly revenue doing freelance PPC before I got into programmatic just by running google ads for "ppc freelance" keywords. If you carve out something like this I guarantee it'll give you enough to make do out of the country and it'll give you more freedom.

Option 4: Other jobs

I don't know here, I actually am working on researching this and will update you if I get answers.

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