YouTube creator Mayuko Inoue pushes back against hustle culture

Like everyone else, Mayuko Inoue yearned for a stable career, which she found working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. She also discovered burnout. So, after nearly six years of working for Intuit, Patreon, and Netflix, Inoue decided to become a full-time YouTuber in 2020.

It’s certainly not lost on her that she’s basically jumped from the fire of hustle culture in tech to the fire of hustle culture in the creator economy, all during a pandemic.

“I had a terrible experience of panic and anxiety when I was doing this,” Inoue said in the latest episode of fast businessthe podcast of Creative control. “I was completely changing my set of values. Ever since I was a teenager, I was like, I want to build stability in my life. I will make careful decisions that will help me lead a pleasant and stable life. And becoming a YouTuber is anything but stable in many ways.

Choose and choose your burnout

In 2017, Inoue started his channel after noticing that there were lots of coding tutorials on YouTube, but not many videos about what it’s like to be a software engineer.

“Technology in general often has this [perception that] it’s this really intense, hyper-competitive world, which is true,” Inoue says. “But I was like, I’m thriving. I feel like I succeeded to some extent. And I also don’t want people to be scared off by this really intense culture, because there are so many parts of technology that aren’t.

As successful as she was, Inoue also felt like she was hitting a ceiling as a software engineer. The creation of his YouTube channel offered new skills for interacting with an audience, editing videos, and more. So even though at the time she was working at Netflix as an iOS engineer, and it was “an amazing job” with “nothing wrong with it, per se”, Inoue quit to devote her time to being a content creator.

“The one thing I know about burnout is that it can happen when your interests and values ​​don’t align with what you do day-to-day,” Inoue says. “And for me, I was like I was still working as a software engineer [at Netflix], it will lead to burnout as soon as possible. I could see it happening, because it’s happened before. I could probably still exhaust myself on YouTube. But I felt like I had a little more control over a lot of things because I was going to work for myself.

Do the agitation. . . properly

Of course, working for yourself allows for some flexibility. But becoming responsible not just for your company’s main product, but for all the minutiae behind it, can drive you deeper into burnout by fueling the mindset of the hustle culture where work replaces everything. stay in life.

Inoue embraced the culture of hustle while working in tech, which she says led to a series of panic attacks which, along with therapy, forced her to reevaluate her relationship to the work.

“For me, it was about finding a better balance between what it is, and also pushing myself on the things I want, and not because I was told to,” Inoue says. “The problem with hustle culture is that sometimes it feels like we have to hustle just for the sake of hustling.”

“The important thing is to do this inner work, this inner reflection,” continues Inoue. “Why do I want to work? What are the things I want to learn, and how can I have opportunities or create instances for myself to acquire these skills and get out of this comfort zone? »

A 2021 study found that 90% of creators had experienced burnout, and 71% said it caused them to consider quitting altogether. Clearly, burnout in the creator economy is a pressing issue. Inoue’s hope is that as mental health conversations grow stronger, there will be a shift among creators to create more intentional content, instead of resigning themselves to what they think will work. best for an algorithm.

“The bias is just to do more, to constantly produce things,” Inoue says. “Maybe we can take a step back and commit less, but work in a way that we want. I feel like the world would be really different if we all did that.

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