Do you drag yourself to work every day? Find out what signs indicate that a break from your job might be necessary.

5 Warning signs that you need to take a career break

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” – Hillary Clinton

Recently, popular Internet sensation Superwoman a.k.a. Lily Singh announced that she’s taking a break from YouTube. She stated that exhaustion and mental stress to consistently deliver were the key factors that led to this decision. Singh affirmed that sometimes growth can come only from stepping back and seeing things in perspective.

Careers have become the topmost priority in this era. In creative as well as professional fields, people now look forward to working not just for money but also for the love of it. With all these changes, it’s no wonder that we spend a major chunk of our life working. This brings us to a point where there’s a burnout – a reminder to step back and re-assess our priorities. 

A career break entails taking leave from work for a certain period, usually a few months or a year, where one analyses their present choices and explores different options for growth. There are many indications that hint it’s time for a break, but people are often unaware of them and suffer due to this ignorance. 

Here are some prominent signs that scream ‘take a break!’

1. Lack of work-life balance

Sometimes, in the pursuit of ambition, we tend to overwork ourselves and ignore all other aspects of life. Relationships, travel, hobbies are some of the other things that make life worth living. If you ever feel a certain disconnect with your loved ones (or even with yourself), you are clearly not devoting enough time outside of work. A poor work-life balance not only causes physical malaise but also affects mental health. This is a major sign that demands a change, by either improving the balance or just taking a break to start afresh. 

2. Lack of motivation/productivity

When on the verge of burnout, people feel less driven. If you catch yourself passing time anyhow and not looking forward to meetings, deadlines, or projects, chances are you are stuck in a rut. Taking a break ensures that you can rest and give yourself time to figure out the reasons for this lack of motivation. It may be a lack of interest in the present line of work, or a change of mind regarding one’s career. A break can prove rejuvenating, and people generally come back excited and looking forward to work. 

3. Chronic health issues

Of all the signs that clearly suggest a career break, poor health has the most visible symptoms. Constant fatigue is the biggest indicator. Physical tiredness and lack of sleep affect a person’s well-being to a great extent. It doesn’t stop there; mental health also gets affected due to the constant physical strain. Even the smallest of decisions may seem tough. It’s time to get a health checkup. After all, what is the point of earning if you cannot enjoy good health?

4. Difficulty bonding with colleagues

Feeling constantly annoyed and unable to bond with your colleagues is a sign that indicates the need for a break. Often, following orders and being available all the time can lead to irritation. Also, when one is not happy about their present situation and wants to quit and follow other pursuits, it becomes difficult to relate with people who are perfectly comfortable in the present scenario. This further leads to feelings of isolation. Such feelings need to be addressed by taking time off to set the course right.

5. Emptiness and boredom

People tend to be engaged and distracted when they are busy, but if you feel empty when free, there’s clearly a problem. The constant wait from Monday to Friday and feeling empty inside all the time indicates you’re not happy in the current circumstances. The only way to change things is to change the circumstances – and that can be done only when one sets aside some time to figure out the problem. 

Last words

The basic requirement for bringing about a happy change in your career life and enable growth is acceptance. Do this when you feel stuck. Acceptance is the first step; the rest of the journey will take care of itself based on your choices. After all, as former US First Lady Michelle Obama said, “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list.”