My biggest problem: prioritizing my career over health

I can’t say this enough: making a lifestyle change is hard. And I’m really scared I won’t be able to do it or that the results won’t be what I’m expecting. I told my leadership that I need to work from home for 30 days while I adjust and find a routine but my doctors think I should take 30 days off work to allow myself the time and flexibility to figure it all out. Taking time off work has always been hard for me, not to mention an entire month.

To me, it’s not the right time in my career to take that amount of time off. Plus I’m in the middle of a really big project and I don’t want to drop everything and pass it to someone else. The doctors make a good point that there will never be a good time in my career to take this kind of time off and they’re right. I don’t know why but for some reason I’m scared there will be consequences. Obviously someone can’t be fired for taking medical leave so I really don’t know what I’m scared off. It’s probably my anxiety getting the best of me but I feel so much pressure to perform at the highest level and I never want to let my team down. There is so much opportunity in my future if I continue doing what I’m doing now and taking time off means slowing down.

Deep down, I know I really should take the 30 days off to get healthy and it’s sad that I put my career first. Even as I write this, I don’t know if I’m going to take the time I know I need. Part of me wants to prove I can do it all but who am I trying to impress? It’s only me who truly knows the pain and struggle I’m going through.

Has anyone else faced a similar dilemma? What did you decide to do and how did you cope?

2 thoughts on “My biggest problem: prioritizing my career over health

  1. Phil

    hey Katie,

    It’s a difficult choice. But the company (or business in general, let’s say) moves fast, and people forget quickly. I can think of a number of cases where employees have taken similar action with no obvious career repercussions. And for those who chose to be open about what they were dealing with (as you are, bravo), their candor seemed to be an effective strategy against the expected office murmurs. There’s not much to gossip about when your cards are all on the table.

    As far as not “dropping the ball”, it seems to me there are a couple of options. If you feel you need to do this in the short term, transition with a plan and walk away knowing you did everything you could to ensure continued success. People are flexible and understanding, and will be excited to have you back. Another option may be to postpone for a couple of months, finish out the project or get it to a major milestone, and gear your leave around a holiday period where it will be less noticeable (if that’s something you’re concerned about).

    I can’t imagine that anyone would begrudge you the opportunity to reset, get healthy and come back stronger. Seems like that would be a good thing for everyone involved. You certainly have my support, if that helps.



    1. Katie Chavannes

      Thanks, Phil!

      It’s great to receive so much support. Since being open about what’s going on, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how people react to me working from home so much and I’ve had a number of people reach out in support of me taking time to get healthy. I’m going to take my time to make a decision but its definitely easier now.

      Thanks again for your support! 🙂



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