How to manage DoorDash’s fast pace against burnout from Kanaka Pattabiraman

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For Kanaka Pattabiraman, no two days are the same at DoorDash. Since joining two years ago, Kanaka finds her work as Senior Director, Merchant Services & Operations at DoorDash rewarding. This includes onboarding merchants to the DoorDash platform with speed and quality, and helping them operate flawlessly.

Working for a company in its hyper growth stage was compelling for Kanaka when she began looking for her next role. With significant experience in the tech industry with companies in a similar stage, she has become well adapted to sustaining high performance while managing burnout.  

“I enjoy working on problems at the tremendously fast pace that the hyper growth stage demands, but what has helped me sustain that over time is engineering ways to recharge,” Kanaka said in 10 minutes of hiring wisdom. “Whether it’s on a weekly basis, a monthly basis, take the time you need to recharge”.

Her perspective is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint and you have to know when to step on the gas pedal and when to step off to recharge to make work-life balance sustainable. Kanaka says it’s also important to ruthlessly prioritize work based on impact instead of trying to “keep everything in the air.”

Her focus at the time was on how to keep juggling everything on her plate, which led to burnout. Taking advice from her mentor helped shift Kanaka’s mindset to prioritize tasks that are important to juggle and giving herself permission to drop “unimportant” ones.

”For me, one of the most rewarding things has been to coach others who are also struggling in this space with the demand of the work, with work-life balance, and then offering some strategies and always checking to make sure they’re not on the verge of burnout," she said. "It’s been a valuable lesson for me to learn, but even more valuable for me to impart.”

Check out more about Kanaka’s journey to DoorDash, tips on how to manage the interview process, and more in the video:

If you’re excited about the opportunities to work on impactful projects, own your career growth, and to be part of the future of DoorDash, check out open positions today.

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