Are you in a constant push-and-pull argument with yourself over living your life versus powering forward at work? It’s easy to lose ourselves in our jobs. After all, your current spot may have been years or decades in the making. Does that mean that taking time off for a little bit will send the wheels flying off? 

Taking some time off work can be one of the best things you can do for your career. Unfortunately, when we’re in a period of burnout, we’re not giving anyone our best work. As a result, we’re living in misery while putting our professional reputation on the line. Excellence is often replaced by survival mode among those who neglect time off. This point is where the mindset shifts to seeing taking time off as an investment in yourself. Far from being a selfish mindset, the idea that taking a vacation makes you better at your job is a science-backed fact! Let’s explore why investing in yourself means getting back to a place of working to live instead of always living to work.

Career Addiction: High-Level Employees Aren’t Taking Vacation Time

More than 55 percent of American workers aren’t taking all of their vacation time. While the epidemic of letting time off go unused is prevalent among workers at all levels, people in executive-level roles are especially bad at committing to time off. In fact, 84 percent of U.S. executives have canceled vacations to work.

Why Time Away From Work Is Productive Time

In studies, vacations boost productivity and mindset in workers. On the personal front, time off is also linked with living a longer, healthier life. But, on the other hand, not taking time off can have a counterproductive impact by making you less likely to succeed at work. Yes, really. Here’s a look at some shocking findings discovered by a group called Project: Time Off:

  • People who don’t take time off are 23 percent to 27 percent less likely to receive promotions.
  • They’re also 78 percent to 84 percent less likely to receive raises or bonuses compared to workers who do take time off.
  • People who don’t take time off feel like “work martyrs” even though they may be suffering from reduced work performance due to not taking time off.

The truth is that productivity, energy, and passion all suffer from not seeing time off as an investment in yourself. It’s also easy to get caught up in a “work addiction” that leaves you isolated. Many people align their sense of worthiness so closely with how many hours they work that they drop all other passions, hobbies, physical activities, or relationships. 

Do You Need More Than a Vacation?

If you’re at the point where taking time off has become so uncommon that you can’t even picture what your day would look like without checking in, it may be time for a career intervention. At a certain point, it’s essential to consider that you may need to step back from your job role to focus on mental health. A job that satisfies your passions and utilizes your talents in a way that allows you to feel confident without the need to work obsessively could be beckoning you. 

In this era of better awareness about mental health, even well-known CEOs have made it a point to prioritize mental health by stepping down to focus on living healthier, more balanced lives

My question to you: What would your career look like if you didn’t obtain your professional sense of worth by being the one who works the most?

Peter Sherer is a nationally recognized career coach who offers clarity and confidence to mid-career and senior executives in transition. In just two short days, his rigorous assessment tools enable his clients to identify a meaningful assignment that uses all of their skills and experience. Learn more and get in touch with Peter today.