‘A career change saved my life’: the people who built better lives after burnout
Chronic stress at work can lead to listlessness, fatigue – and a much higher risk of stroke and heart disease. But there are ways to save yourself before it’s too late
Spencer Carter had been signed off work for three months with stress. Before that time was up, his employers “encouraged” him back early, then doubled the size of the team he managed – and his responsibility. “In the last couple of years, everything got worse,” he says, with a degree of understatement. In fact, his GP warned him the stress was going to kill him, thanks to his astronomically high blood pressure. He took, he says, “voluntary redundancy to save my life”.
Although he had tried counselling in the run-up to his redundancy, it hadn’t helped with his overly demanding working environment as a business operations manager for a global company – endless data and spreadsheets, running teams across different time zones, and being responsible for huge budgets in a highly competitive culture.