One of the hardest decisions many people need to make in this day and age is whether or not it’s a good idea to sacrifice their emotional well-being for a career. Many people know that a good, stable job is necessary—and even a few weeks, or a few months, without a job can put you into a tight situation. It is, however, important to always take your mental health into consideration.
1. Extreme Anxiety
Whether you’re working in a customer-facing job, such as a call center or retail, or working behind the scenes in an office, the workplace can be a major cause of stress and anxiety—making it difficult for some people to find the motivation to go to work some days.
The first sign it may be time to take a break for your mental health from your job is if you’re feeling overly anxious when thinking about work, or deadlines. While general anxiety is normal—worrying about a deadline or similar—many people experience severe work-related anxiety that may overpower other emotions and feelings; this is the first sign of needing a break.
2. Disconnection with Loved Ones
Another situation where it may be best to really take a step back from the workforce is if you feel you aren’t spending enough time with your loved ones. Not spending enough time with your partner, children, or anyone else you hold dear can cause issues for your emotional well-being, and lead you to feel drained and feel like you aren’t seeing them enough. If you feel this is the case, consider putting in vacation time at work, if possible.
3. Serious Life Changes
The next situation in which you may need to put your career on the back-burner is a bit more situational. Many people feel overwhelmed when certain things occur in their lives—the loss of a loved one, or other major life events—if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by certain things going on in your life, consider taking a step back to focus on your life instead of your career.
This is especially important if you’re going through a custody battle, divorce, or anything that might require family law services. While you may look to work as an escape and a source of stability from the rockiness of your life situation, remember that your mental and emotional health are still important and should not be ignored.
4. Mental Health Issues
Finally, the most important thing to consider is if your job is detrimental to your mental health. Many people consider customer service jobs to be some of the most stressful—retail, call centers, and more—as you’re often seeing people at their worst. Over time, this can become very stressful, as it may begin to feel more personal than the customer may intend—leading to unnecessary stress. When you start blaming yourself for things that aren’t your fault, because of work experiences, it’s definitely time to consider a potential career change and break.
All in all, there are a plethora of reasons one may consider putting their career on hold for mental and emotional well-being. If you are considering doing so, ensure you have a backup plan if possible—savings, and a potential second job lined up when you’re ready to re-enter the workforce.
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