The break we all need

This was me for about 2 months

Kids, tell your mum now; you that you need to take that long break from work that you always dream about. You can quote me on that.

I left a job I really enjoyed in January this year, because weirdly enough, I stopped enjoying it.

Bear with me now.

Throughout the struggles of working in PR in a small Asian market, I was able to find and dominate a niche market. Working in a small, but close knit company I worked towards and most achieved building/being part of a strong unified team that was actually quite good. Were we perfect? Absolutely not, but we had flashes of greatness mixed with the mundane.

However grinding and fighting the good fight can take its toll. We pushed through the adversity and came out stronger, but also a lot more tired than we should have been. It didn’t help that support wasn’t very forthcoming and I personally felt that sometimes there could have been a lot more done that we weren’t able to because of the lack of the aforementioned support.

So I did the unthinkable (for Singapore at least), I quit. No job, no prospects, just some savings and almost no sleep.

Here’s why I did it though. I was burnt out and a little broken. I’m not being over dramatic here. I wasn’t staring into an empty glass all night or pondering how arsenic tastes at all, but I wasn’t pushing myself anymore and the effort it took to be better was getting too much.

I still enjoyed parts of my job and the impact it was creating, but I felt I could be better, heck I knew I could do much more. In retrospect, I probably stayed a year longer than I should have, just because I liked where I worked and occasionally pulled off a miracle at work.

So coming back to my break. I took time off to travel, sleep, catch up on my TV shows and hopefully better myself (education, meeting new people, building better friendships). I failed at most, but still had an amazing time.

I slept well, lost weight, drank way too much and occasionally had a great conversation with friends, new and old. In other words, I did everything you’re supposed to do, but since you work 16 hours a day, you never have the time to do it.

In those two months I took off, I discovered a lot about the world outside my work. I left everything that was stressful behind and tried new things; removed toxic influences and tried appreciate the good things in life.

Why is this important? Because we strive to always say that we work longer than everyone else. Who here hasn’t at some point said they work insane hours with a hint of pride? It is actually quite dumb, but we never seem to realise.

So here’s why I wrote this. Take that time off that you want. Don’t be afraid to quit your job as long as you believe in yourself . Do not, use this as an excuse to be lazy and quit your job because Daddy (or Mummy) will pay your way. Don’t be that guy.

I’ve come out for the better, but I won’t give you tips on what to do. Each person is different and don’t try to follow people, build your lists of things to accomplish and go from there. If you want to sit on your butt and vegetate, go for it. If you want to travel the world, more power to you. Don’t listen to people who tell you that you shouldn’t risk it, or who knows what’s going to happen in a few months. Just take the plunge and make it work.


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