Do You Need a Break From Work?

Hustle culture, entrepreneurialism, professional spirit, all of these things can be good and productive when necessary. But what about when the need to be human outweighs your need to be reputationally sound, productive, and promoted?

From time to time, this can happen. After all, while the office can seem like the most stable and timeless place in the world, it’s situated within the bigger, wider thing we call life, which is as unpredictable as can be. 

Identifying when you need to take some time off work to get yourself back in good condition, to deal with tragic or difficult life circumstances, or when to transition your career to something new entirely is just as important a professional skill as anything else.

However, it can be hard for people to set those wheels in motion or be candid with their HR department to remain productive and confidently move forward.

Never fear because, in this post, we’ll discuss how to identify when you need to take a step back from work and how to go about it:


The most robust, dependable people can experience burnout. Even if you have a relatively decent work/life balance, you can encounter it because, after all, “work” is not solely limited to what you do in the office.

Unfortunately, burnout can often be misunderstood. Some may think it’s another word for “tired” or simply “bored.” But the truth is burnout can have very real physical and mental consequences. If you’re often working without a break, constantly do overtime, travel too much for work, or feel you’re having trouble keeping up with demand, it’s important to say that.

This is because burnout rarely goes away if you ignore it. It may lead to panic attacks, quiet-quitting out of a sense of indignation, and stress boiling over, which you might take out on your colleagues, bosses, or even family. Be mindful of your stress, and ask for it if you need to take some time away.

Bad Habits 

Sometimes, bad habits can get the best of you, but that doesn’t make you a worse person who can never be trusted again. Gambling addictions, alcoholism,  and even substance abuse have affected people from every industry and at all levels of enterprise. We’ve certainly seen these issues affect some in high-level governmental positions. Remember, there’s nothing new under the sun.

What matters is not how the habit started but the steps you take to mediate them. By visiting the Real Deal Outpatient Rehab, you can get to grips with your issues and hopefully begin the recovery journey. It’s important to talk to your employer about this because it’s unethical and unhelpful to work with an active problem like this you’ve been managing. You may need to leave your job or be placed on administrative leave while you can dedicate yourself to recovery and taking each day as it comes. You’ll be so glad you took the time to focus on your well-being this way.

Struggling To Perform

This is a hard subject to cover because it’s hard to accept that your performance issues might be for many reasons. If you’ve struggled to perform at work or have difficulty with vital tasks, you may need more training or time to develop your capabilities. Don’t worry, many people take some time to get used to new duties.

That said, sometimes you might struggle with the workload, the tasks themselves, or you’re just not enthused to complete your daily responsibilities. You may be a fantastic worker, but a bad manager. Perhaps you don’t think you have the insight to help restore a failing enterprise or take it in a new visionary direction. Regardless, it can be healthy to account for issues you might be facing and speak to your management about them. 

Don’t dismiss yourself outright, but don’t just put a brave face on and soldier through either, because it might not be that ignoring the problem will solve it. Sometimes, reverting a promotion given so you have more time to feel comfortable with the role, enrolling in further training options, or simply realizing that now isn’t the right time in your life to manage a full department can be the essence of wisdom. If you’re struggling to perform, don’t ignore that, but be as proactive as possible.

It’s Right For You Now

Ultimately, you don’t have to give a reason or explanation as to why stepping away from work is important to you. You can hand in your notice and quit as part of the timespan allotted to you. Understanding this can help you avoid coming up with a million faulty excuses when the reality is that this position just might not be right for you.

Perhaps you’re planning to move away from your current living space or have processed a divorce and need some time to recollect. Maybe you’re in middle-age now and want to start your own business before you no longer have the chance to do so. 

While it’s important to respect our places of employment, our managers, and anyone who has helped us over the years, you don’t have to give your unending loyalty to an enterprise that may replace you within a month or so. If the step back from work feels right, and you’re happy to accept the implications of moving on, then who can tell you that you’ve made the incorrect decision? You certainly won’t hear that argument in this post.

This advice lets you identify when to take that step back from work. While it can be hard to switch jobs, take some time for yourself, or live from your savings for a small period, now and again, your needs come first.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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