I’m sick of working during the pandemic – can I take a year off without looking bad?

By | October 4, 2021

I’m tired of all of the debates and restrictions at work due to the pandemic — vaccines, masks, etc. I have the means to quit my job and take as much as a year off until this all stops. Will it hurt me when I look for work in the future? Will employers frown upon my decision to just take a break?

I think this pandemic has given us all some cover to explain almost anything we do now. Showering once a week? COVID. Eating ice cream for lunch and dinner? COVID. Camping out in bed watching Netflix all day? COVID. Not calling your mom? OK — never an excuse for that, really — but COVID still can work. It’s no different for career decisions. If ever there was a situation where you could take some career time off without having to worry about explaining yourself and the gap in employment, COVID gives you the perfect cover — including those who are having difficulty finding a job.

I hate feedback at work. I hate my boss, too, so I hate getting feedback from my boss. We’re now going into the dreaded performance process at work. Any tips on how to survive, and give the boss feedback?

May I give you some feedback, at least? I am sensing a little hostility and negativity. Just a vibe I’m getting, and that is definitely not the way to go into a meeting with your boss. If it makes you feel any better — though it probably won’t — most employees and managers dislike the whole performance management feedback process. That’s because so many people are bad at communication in general, and spectacularly bad at communicating developmental feedback at work. Few people are comfortable receiving feedback even when delivered well, because the stakes are high at work to perform well, and anything negative can feel magnified in consequence. But we are all on a journey of development, and being able to receive feedback well is actually critical for advancing in one’s career. As for your meeting, my friend, it sounds like your safest bet is to just listen, say thank you at the end and then leave before you hit your boss with the stapler. Then go find a better boss.

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Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com.

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