Careers, Career Break, Career Coaching

Taking A Career Break: Gareth’s Story

Most of us recognise that working in a demanding work environment, coupled with the pressure to constantly perform and excel can take a toll on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Meet Gareth our former client, a dedicated finance professional who found himself at a crossroads in his career journey. Just promoted to head up his finance service, Gareth initially felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. However, as he settled into his new role, he soon realised that the demands and expectations placed upon him were taking a significant toll on his health, happiness, and relationships.

In his previous role, Gareth had been known as a “safe pair of hands” – someone who could be relied upon to get the job done and go above and beyond what was expected of him. While he had a great relationship with his team, Gareth found himself constantly bailing out his team leaders who weren’t effectively leading their teams. He was inundated with issues and challenges that should have been addressed at a lower level, leaving him feeling overwhelmed and overworked.

To make matters worse, Gareth’s new director failed to conduct proper 1-2-1’s and performance reviews, leaving him feeling unsupported and undervalued. Strategic Meetings were scheduled without proper briefings, adding to Gareth’s sense of frustration and confusion. Despite his best efforts to juggle his professional responsibilities, Gareth found himself sacrificing his personal time and neglecting his relationships. Even when he left the office, he couldn’t escape the relentless demands of his job, as he would often find himself opening his laptop to work late into the night.

As the pressure continued to mount, Gareth’s relationship reached a breaking point, and he found himself on the brink of burnout. In a moment of clarity, he made the difficult decision to submit his resignation, feeling as though he had no other option. However, upon reflection, Gareth realised that what he truly needed was not to walk away from his career but to take a step back and prioritise his well-being.

With the agreement of his employer, Gareth requested a career break – a period of time away from work to recharge, reflect, and regain perspective. During his career break, Gareth focused on reconnecting with himself and his loved ones, engaging in activities that brought him joy and fulfilment. He used the time to assess his career goals, values, and priorities, gaining clarity about the direction he wanted to take moving forward.

Upon returning to work, Gareth felt rejuvenated and reenergised, armed with a newfound sense of purpose and perspective. He recognised the need for change and took proactive steps to empower his team leaders to make decisions and take ownership of their responsibilities. By fostering a culture of accountability and autonomy within his team, Gareth was able to alleviate some of the pressure on himself and redistribute workloads more effectively. He set boundaries around his time and commitments, learning to prioritise his well-being and personal life alongside his professional responsibilities.

Gareth also learned the importance of managing upwards, scheduling regular meetings with his manager to gain clarity on expectations, provide updates on progress, and address any concerns or challenges. These open lines of communication helped Gareth feel more supported and valued in his role, fostering a sense of trust and collaboration between him and his manager.

He began to prioritise his own learning and development, recognising that ongoing growth and skill enhancement were essential for long-term success. He invested time and resources into attending workshops, training programmes, and networking events, expanding his knowledge and expertise in key areas relevant to his role and industry.

Our Career Coaching helped Gareth make these changes in his work life, Gareth not only regained a sense of control and balance but also positioned himself for continued growth and success in his career.

Please note that the name and career job role referenced in this blog have been altered to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of our client.


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