1 2
wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
3/3/22 1:26 p.m.

I am completely burned out. Its bad, like having to talk with someone professionally bad, i have never really needed that. Been thinking about just dropping the job for a year or more and just doing anything that is not working. But been 25 years since I have not had at least one full time 50+ hour a week ob. Longest break being a week or so. I have a couple million saved in all the investments and my wife works so we have health care. I could drop out for life if we left California if I wanted to, but at 40 I am not ready. Plus entire immediate and extended family is here. 

Office has a unpaid 40 day sabbatical program for people who have worked here for at least 20 years. Couple people have used it to travel or care for parents that sort of thing. Has anybody actually used a sabbatical and found it to be helpful. Having trouble deciding if this is just due to Covid working my industry into the dust or if it really is just me. Just a full on sense of Alexithymia, not able to to really get joy as well. Did a track day a while back and felt nothing, not alive or even scared just nothing, been that way for a while. Normal medications are not working except on triple dose and I really hate the side effects and its so very minimally better. 

 

 

 

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/3/22 1:44 p.m.

In reply to wearymicrobe :

Retirement does not mean doing nothing.  Maybe you can spend the 40 days to find a different place and way to spend your time.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
3/3/22 1:47 p.m.

Wife considered a Sabatical from teaching. 25 years and she's tired of being used by the disrict, parents and state gov. Instead she decided to find a "normal" job mon-fri 8-5, take the 30-40% pay cut and be done with it. She can retire in 11 years doing that, 6 if she kills herself teaching.

Sometimes you just need to cut and run while you can. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
3/3/22 1:54 p.m.

You've got enough, especially with your spouse still working. Not worth destroying your psyche and mental health to pad things even more. Nothing wrong with keeping the door to a return slightly ajar, but I think it's time to hit the road and just decompress for awhile.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/3/22 1:57 p.m.

My father was a college prof and took a sabbatical every 7 years. He used it for research back at the university where he got his doctorate - which happened to be in Oz. He took the whole family with him, so I had weird steps in my education. 

I don't think he needed it for stress relief, it was professional development. But he did it every time so there must have been benefit. I know my childhood was far more interesting and varied as a result.

If you're feeling burned out, give it a try. But have a goal, something to do. If you just sit around on the couch in your underwear you won't feel refreshed at all.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/3/22 2:04 p.m.

In a similar situation as you. Just did it. A couple of months in ...  stress levels went from 100 to 30, you will still think about work but it will not be near as stressful. 

No idea where this goes yet. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/3/22 2:08 p.m.

My understanding is that it's common for high-paying California jobs to say "here's an ultra-generous supply of vacation time, now use it, go on, we dare you" but in this case you should take them up on that dare. $2M should be a decade's worth of living expenses even in the costlier parts of California, even if you lose this job it should be no big deal, and you should consider taking up something easier even if it barely matches or perhaps even doesn't match your living expenses since you can draw on your savings to make up any shortfall.

I'm pretty severely burnt out and feeling more depressed myself from working not even 2 years in a high-stress fast-paced job without taking any time off, I used to get 4 weeks off a year at a mostly chill and slow-paced job and was hoping to get 6. Working 50+hrs a week for 25 years with only a week off from something I wouldn't do if I wasn't being paid sounds like a madness-inducing supernatural punishment to me.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/3/22 2:14 p.m.
wearymicrobe said:

Office has a unpaid 40 day sabbatical program for people who have worked here for at least 20 years. Couple people have used it to travel or care for parents that sort of thing. Has anybody actually used a sabbatical and found it to be helpful. Having trouble deciding if this is just due to Covid working my industry into the dust or if it really is just me. Just a full on sense of Alexithymia, not able to to really get joy as well. Did a track day a while back and felt nothing, not alive or even scared just nothing, been that way for a while. Normal medications are not working except on triple dose and I really hate the side effects and its so very minimally better.

I can't help you here, as I've never taken a sabbatical...

But I appreciate you keying me into a new word that feeling that I've had for a few years now.   My friend and I describe it as being "functionally depressed" (as in, a "functional alcoholic" equivalent).  I do find that energy drinks help give me a better emotional state.

I agree with Keith, though...  Have a destination or goal, I've tried to take a day or two off and just kinda felt a sense of self-disappointment that I didn't accomplish anything with "all that free time." 

Edit:  I will say that I firmly believe that it is exacerbated by COVID with all the restrictions..  It's sucked a lot of fun out of life.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
3/3/22 2:21 p.m.

Was thinking of a two months off, one in a coding boot camp for R or Python and 1 month traveling around the state using the house as a home base. Not sure if two months would get my head right or make me go even crazier. 

 

Appreciate the input everyone. I am at one of those companies where I get 30+ days a year to use but if I actually did take it nothing would get done. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
3/3/22 2:23 p.m.

Most people hit that wall. And I think most stick it out because they feel trapped by whatever status they have reached.

 

I had 4 careers in totally different areas. Switched whenever one seemed to have stopped making me happy or felt that I had peaked in my drive. Never about the $$$ for me since there is better chance of stumbling into more $$$ than lifetime. I was lucky and it worked out so far. Pulled the plug again at 62 and called it retirement this time. Might be a sabbatical because the same feeling of running out of stuff to challenge me might come out of retirement. Not there after the first year. 

johnp2
johnp2 Reader
3/3/22 2:30 p.m.

Hit that wall in 2016. No sabbatical program at work so I left. Also wasn't married and no children so it made it much easier. Sold house, sold belongings (mostly), quit job, and then rode my bicycle from coast to coast. Slept in parks, campgrounds, hostels. Ate garbage food (mostly rest stops). Hung out with very interesting people. Made new friends. Got into fantastic shape. Wonderful 70 days, wouldn't trade it for anything and will never ever be a regret for me. It's been 6 years, I'll likely be planning another similar move in the coming 1-3 years.

-John

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
3/3/22 2:33 p.m.

If I was in your shoes, I would take a sabbatical for the rest of my life and find something a little less stressful to do.

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
3/3/22 2:39 p.m.

I never have, never had the opportunity, but I know a few people that have. 

1: No kids, no wife, was working for one of the Big 4. Took an entire summer off, went sailing, windsurfing, etc. Came back to the job, left after 1 year for much greener pastures. He was 35 when he took his. 

2: 1 kid, 1 wife, company forces a sabbatical every 7 years. His was extended to 9 years, because of his relationship with the CEO and the criticality of some projects he had during extreme growth for the company. 2 months, including 2 weeks fully paid in the Seychelles. He's coming up on his 2nd sabbatical and will be taking it. He was 29 when he took his first. 

3: After 8 years of being at the same F500 company, took 2 years off. This guy was Sr. Director/VP level. He took the 2 years when his 4th and 5th kids (twins) were 3 years old. Spent 2 years being super dad until the kids went to school. Went back to the same company for another 8 years. For the past 9 years, he has been working at one of your competitors, again, Sr. Director/VP level. He was probably 40 when he did this.

 

All of these people would do it again in a heartbeat. None of them did nothing. You won't let yourself do nothing, anyway, though I would recommend that you try to do nothing for a week or so. Go somewhere remote without any connection to the outside world and disconnect. Go fishing or hunting or golfing or take a roadtrip with the phone there only for emergencies. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
3/3/22 2:40 p.m.
Toyman! said:

If I was in your shoes, I would take a sabbatical for the rest of my life and find something a little less stressful to do.

 

Same.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/3/22 3:07 p.m.
mtn said:
Toyman! said:

If I was in your shoes, I would take a sabbatical for the rest of my life and find something a little less stressful to do.

 

Same.

Same. If you come back in two months you're just gonna be back in the same E36 M3 two months after that.

Our situation sounds pretty similar-wife works but I quit my job when my kid was born. Originally planned to go back when he hit 18 months, but covid happened. 3 years in I can say it's been a good decision, and also that I'm looking foreward to doing "something" soon.  I'd suggest taking an objective look at your life and realize that you're too rich to put up with bullE36 M3 and being happy is more important than tacking on another million over the next few years.

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
3/3/22 3:09 p.m.

I would take that sabbatical in a heart beat!  What do you have to lose?  You get a month and a half break to regroup, go have some fun and decide how you want to proceed. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/3/22 3:19 p.m.

One key thing. Make sure your wife is on board with your decision. Not having kids make it easier. 

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/3/22 3:41 p.m.

Yeah, you gotta go, bud.

I'm halfway through my own time away. I was already burnt out and needing a break when covid hit. Our HR person and I discussed it, but the company wasn't being super supportive of me stepping away, largely do to being the only person in a specialist role. I gut it out till February of '21 before I had to cut back to part time. By May, I knew it was time to leave and put in my notice after 10 years.

Not wanting to burn a bridge for possible future contract work, it took till early August to wrap up the phases of the projects I was most involved in. I let that go a bit too long. It's never going to be a good time for them, so just pick some time a reasonable ways in the future to be done (month or two), and stick to it.

I've been doing the stay at home parent gig since then, and will be until our only daughter starts pre-k3 late this coming august. it was so absolutely the right move to be able to spend this time with her. It also took a few months to even start to wind down. I'm able to lean on grandparents a decent amount for days to myself, too, and that has been huge. I've had some other mental/emotional stuff going on that factors in, but from what you're describing, 40 days doesn't sound like nearly enough to me. What are you working so hard for that it's keeping you from being happy about anything?

Good luck and be well! 

 

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
3/3/22 3:42 p.m.

Take the time off.

When I take time off I usually start to miss the structure and "productivity" of working. 

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
3/3/22 4:02 p.m.

Have you actually performed any retirement planning? Like determine your retirement goals (age, account balance, and net worth) and objectives (annual progress needed to get there)?... Or are you just working yourself to death under the guise of more = better? 

Me personally, if I somehow found myself falling into your situation... I'd take the sabbatical and start using the vacation. I am a firm believer that it doesn't matter what your position is. It shouldn't matter whether you take a day off, a week off, year off, or walk out one day and never look back... If your company is so reliant on you that they can't actually get the work done without you, it is a fundamental failing of the company and leadership, and that's ultimately not your problem. If using your benefits ends up being a 'career limiting' move, perhaps that's for the best anyway.

Live to work, or work to live... It's your choice.

This would all be good stuff to think more deeply about while laying on a beach in Maui during a sabbatical.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
3/3/22 4:15 p.m.

I was...told to go on sabbatical....and my job was reallocated.... however-I say do it. My stress level dropped to 0 and I have plenty of time to figure out my life, and focus on simple E36 M3, like eating. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
3/3/22 4:18 p.m.

They say you need a minimum of 2 weeks vacation.

First week get you off the ledge and the second week is the real vacation.

I'd do the 40 day deal, fly to San Francisco, buy a Bullitt Mustang, hoon around the area then drive PCH down to LA, mess around then drive home.

d29a1b8d40b33e0cb8df2b22589e7206@sale.craigslist.org

mtn
mtn MegaDork
3/3/22 4:43 p.m.

Everybody here is in favor of it. Let's look at this from another angle: 

  • What are you afraid of professionally if you take the sabbatical?
    • I personally don't think you have anything to worry about from that perspective. I know you mentioned before that you need to stay in this, because in your industry, if you're gone for a year you're too far behind. I call BS on that. I bet you could retire for a year, then after a year post your resume on LinkedIn, and have a similar if not better job within a month. 
  • What are you afraid of personally? Keep in mind when answering this that you're not capable of doing nothing.

 

You don't need to answer them here. Just for yourself. But I'm trying to fathom a situation where you don't benefit from this, and for that matter, your job/industry too. You're burned out. They'd rather have you mentally healthy and stable after a year off, for another 5-10 years, than burned out and burning down the building over a red stapler in 6 more months.

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
3/3/22 5:09 p.m.
wearymicrobe said:

Appreciate the input everyone. I am at one of those companies where I get 30+ days a year to use but if I actually did take it nothing would get done. 

First, never ever leave vacation time on the table.  It just gets you worn down and leads to where you are now.  Ask me how I know.

Second, no doubt happiness and satisfaction are different for everyone but money and stuff only get a person so far.  I once worked in a complete pressure cooker of an office.  Long days, every day, no help as in if I didn't do it it wouldn't get done.  Several of us ended up in the emergency room due to exhaustion and work related stress myself included.  Oh but the money! (Blood money is what it was in reality.)   

I had a bit of an epiphany finally and realized that all the money / stuff in the world wouldn't do me or more importantly my family any good if I wasn't around to enjoy any of it.   As many of these life things work I ran into an old friend not long after,  he'd started his own company and ended up asking if I'd consider coming to work for him.   I ended up making the move a few months later and now just over 18 years later it was among the better decisions I've ever made.   It wasn't easy to walk away from the other job as I'd spent years building up accounts and the new company was much smaller.  I figured we'd make do on less and figure it out.    The make do with less lasted about six months, I ended up so energized in the new environment that over time I ended up doing far better than I would have if I'd stayed with the other company.     We're not the small company on the block anymore either.  It took time and hard work from a bunch of great people but we're the largest independently owned commercial HVAC service company in our area now. Funny how feeling valued and appreciated works. 

Do this for yourself and your wife, it could be the best thing you've ever done.  Good luck!

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
3/3/22 5:27 p.m.

I did two months off at the end of last year, it was the first time I've taken that long off and the longest I've gone without working in 21 years. My only input would be skip the coding bootcamp unless you plan on a career shift that requires it. I would say do not sign up for anything with a schedule during that time. I ended up doing some long neglected yard work, cleaning up my shop and tackling a handful of car projects. None of this was on a schedule and some of it I just did for a little bit at a time. 

I changed careers at the beginning of last year with the intention of taking a month or more off every year and a half. If you have the means, which it sounds like you do, I say start incorporating it in your life. If you aren't working to find more happiness in your life at this point, then why are you working?

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
CpTwsNIseghzUGQjXewLToGYAKfqNLACrQDt0DAhn28Aeo03z7hdROF0RVi4jbF1