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dp close to burn out but does not want to stop working as worried...advice on sabbatical leave please!

(15 Posts)
maminova Thu 21-Jan-16 11:32:10

Hi there, my dh has been working in the banking industry over over 10 years. He has a good salary but has been so stressed. It has changed him as a person (grumpier, quieter, etc...) and his health has been affected greatly (reflux, stomach issues, sleepless nights). This is clearly due to the stress levels...over the years, he has had higher targets but less staff...which is almost impossible to cope with...he is very hard working but lately work has affected him so much that i really think he should stop/find something else...unfortunately he doesn't know what to do...he is worried that we won't be able to cope financially (I work but only 3 days/week) and we have a mortgage, kids activities,etc...). I was thinking that he should take a sabbatical leave...Does anyone has any advice/experience for it? I really think he should do something as I am worried he might have a heart attack or anything else if he keeps going at this rate....

flowery Thu 21-Jan-16 12:26:59

Three questions leap to mind.

If he is worried you wouldn't cope financially, how would you cope if he took a sabbatical? Do you have savings to cover a shortfall for however many months he wants to take off?

Does his employer actually have a policy of offering sabbaticals?

Will it actually solve the problem long term?

maminova Thu 21-Jan-16 12:52:02

Hi flowery, thank you for your reply... We do have a bit of saving although not much... I can always increase my work as I am self employed... I do not think it will solve things for him to stop but it will help him to think about what he really wants to do... I wanted to hear if possible from people who have been in this situation, took the leave and whether it helped/what they did afterwards... Just to help us make up our mind...

JemimaMuddleDuck Thu 21-Jan-16 18:57:09

What do you think a sabbatical will achieve? His stressful job will still be there when he goes back so there will be no change.

Would it not be better to look for another job? Companies and jobs vary immensely.

Tiredandtorn Thu 21-Jan-16 22:03:55

I can sympathise with with. Although he's not in banking, DH had a very stressful job with an international company, crazy targets, mental hours... Good money but It was awful and he was miserable. He didn't take a sabitical but, did leave and find a new job doing the same job for more money in a far superior company. He now works sociable hours (more travel than I'd like though but can't have it all) is significantly less stressed, has an approachable boss and is really happy there. So it might be more beneficial to look to change companies. As someone said, companies vary so much, it may all the change he needs. However, if he no longer enjoys the work that could be an entirely different issue...

imip Thu 21-Jan-16 22:13:41

Dh has worked for 10 years in banking at a major bank and is just coming to the end of a 3 month sabbatical. It was easy enough to arrange. He took it for family reasons as one of our DCs was about to be diagnosed with ASD - we just needed clear heads to 're calibrate' our lives.

We'd had money saved for this. Unfortunately, worked for to choose the timings (winter!) and he could only take 3 months.

I'd say a sabbatical is useful to reassess the direction you are taking. After 3 months, you may realise that dh likes work, or he may wish to look for another, but being able to have distance could provide clarity.

For us, we realise we need a more family-friendly arrangement as our dc is in a bad way due to anxiety. Lots of changes in store for us!

maminova Thu 21-Jan-16 22:32:43

Thanks all for your replies...Jemima, he will have the same stressful job if he comes back but that time would allow him to think whether he really wants to come back to this stressful job...He is more technical and is currently in a high managearial job, which I think does not suit him...
I am sure you have been very busy lately imip! My son also has health issues at the moment although different from is so difficult to balance everything! Dh said he will give it another go and try to change his attitude, probably by trying not to worry too much and do one thing at the time...

problembottom Sat 23-Jan-16 13:27:51

My DP suffered from burnout a couple of years ago. He had a great job on paper, but it was very pressurised and high-profile and it all got too much.

Eventually his boss noticed something was wrong and he ended up being signed off work, fully paid for about three months. They were very cautious and made sure he was totally better before he came back. It hasn't hindered him at all despite his fears at the time, when he couldn't really see straight to be honest and needed someone to tell him what to do. It was an awful time.

He's just got a big promotion actually, I don't think anyone even remembers.

Hope it works out.

maminova Sat 23-Jan-16 23:39:09

Thanks problembottom... Luckily your dh had a very good boss. My dh's boss is not very understanding. Keeps pushing for deadlines. Three months off unpaid would be ideal but I really don't think it will happen. Well done for the promotion ! I guess it is still in the same company?

elfofftheshelf Mon 25-Jan-16 08:50:12

Many of the banks offer sabbaticals as a benefit, often tied to length of service, e.g. at 10 year anniversary, you are entitled to apply (each sabbatical needs to meet the needs of the business and the individual i.e. you can't have 5 people off from the same team at the same time) and in at least a couple of cases I know of, they pay the first month, and the remaining 2 are unpaid. It would be worth him exploring this / his company policy to see if this is standard practice. I would also suggest he thinks carefully about what he wants to do. From your OP I'm reading that you are prompting him to think about this. Does he actually want to take a break like this, or is this just adding more stress?

Could he change roles? There are lots of individuals who due to their technical experience have been promoted into more senior jobs which include management, but they aren't really suited to it. Would a confidential chat with HR help? If it's a large organisation it may be that they can offer a side ways move into an individual contributor role? Or maybe he should have a chat with a headhunter and test the market outside his organisation? Having experienced burn out and stress myself I would stay though, that none of this will be appealing if he is truly ill and if this is the case, he really should think about talking to his GP.

maminova Mon 25-Jan-16 11:33:48

Thanks for your reply elfofftheshelf... Dh wants to resign completely it seems... But I think it might be wiser to ask for a sabbatical... May I ask anyone: if he decided not to come back after the three months, would there be any consequences?

imip Mon 25-Jan-16 12:07:17

Dh will probably resign. He's back today. All his benefits were suspended (priv health insurance, bonus pro rata). I assume he will get gardening leave??

Perhaps he should visit a gp and have a more 'managed' leave. I mean not resign in haste but so his bosses and colleagues know he was stressed ect. Means that you're keeping the good will and he has a good reference still if he plans to get a new job down the track.

maminova Tue 26-Jan-16 11:25:47

Good luck to you imip...The only worry about visiting the GP (I asked my GP friend) is that he will have to see him regularly and can only be signed off a few weeks at a I am worried it will look bad for him as employers are normally reluctant to employ a stressed employee...

elfofftheshelf Tue 26-Jan-16 11:35:25

I think you would be surprised how many people are signed off for stress, anxiety, depression etc - all essentially symptomatic of burn out. Many return to work with the support of their employer (and yes I am talking from experience in the City).

I don't think there would be any come back on someone who took a sabbatical and chose not to return at the end of the 3 months - it happens, and actually it's easier for the employer to move on, as generally they've found a way of covering the role during the absence period in any case. However, that's not to say that those to do return, regressed and raring to go aren't welcomed back with open arms too!

maminova Wed 27-Jan-16 09:03:17

Thanks for sharing your dh only had 4 hours sleep last night...he just cannot switch off...So sad to see him like that....

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