A wise-ass friend of mine used to say that “he loved his job, but it was working he hated!”
Maybe you know the feeling.
Sometimes, no matter how much you may like your job, your co-workers, and even your boss, work itself just gets old. Things pile up, tasks need attending to, and there’s never enough time to get everything done.
Sometimes, you just need a break.
And I don’t mean a coffee break. I mean a real break – 24 hours, 48 hours or even a week off.
I worked at one of the world’s largest technology companies. After 4 years you would get 4 weeks a year in vacation time.
Want to know how many people took advantage of all their vacation time? – nobody.
Nobody on my team ever used all their vacation time. It wasn’t like they were told not to, it’s just the pressure, the workload, and the comments you’d get from co-workers if you took more than two weeks off in a year were enough to dissuade people from taking what was rightfully theirs!
When most people leave that company they walk away from weeks of unclaimed paid vacation.
I think that’s tragic. That’s time lost with family, exploring, self-reflecting, or just decompressing.
I also worked in a tech start up and we had a completely different policy — unlimited paid vacation. Surprisingly, this policy seemed to make it even harder to get time off.
Why? Because no one wants to look like they’re not a team player, not carrying their weight. So everyone toils away even harder.
Free in-office yoga and catered meals help. So does free beer and kombucha on tap But they aren’t a replacement for actual time off.
So what’s the moral of my story. What do I want you to consider for your own mental and physical well-being?
If you feel stressed out. If the pile on your desk continues to grow. If you are more tense when you leave work than when you arrived then it might be time to take a break.
My wise-ass friend used to call it “mental-health hookey.” These are sick days for your tired soul. Some people feel some stigma about taking time to recharge, but the last time I checked, everything that runs or moves needs two key inputs – energy and rest.
So if this sounds a bit like how you’re feeling, I suggest you consider playing mental health hookey. Tell the boss you need a day off. Most companies have personal days. Don’t wait until you’re getting a root canal to take one.
Go on hike…
Get out into nature…
Take in a matinee of a show or movie…
Binge watch that Netflix series…
Go to a spa and soak your tired ass…
Have lunch at a favorite restaurant…
Go to a museum…
Take care of yourself and you’ll be the better for it.
The Career Buddha knows that self-care is one of the first keys to being a great employee. To bring your best self to work you need to give yourself some love.
Don’t be like my wise-ass friend, I want you to love your job and working too.
Wishing you total success and fulfillment!
The Career Buddha