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Marc Backes
Marc Backes

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The Most Important Skill You Should Have As A Professional

Hello people, please bear with me. I have an extremely important thing I need to tell you. It affects everyone! (6+ million every year). This is not a tech post, and if you guys feel it's inappropriate for this platform I'll take it down.

But there is one very important thing you must develop as a professional - and also not-professional. But before we get to that, let me tell you a story...

In 2015 my dad suffered from a stroke, which left one half of his body paralyzed and with expressive aphasia (the inability to produce language). He depends on someone else for the majority of daily tasks.

From one second to the other, he got pulled completely out of his life into another life where nothing would ever be the same. Ever. When he wants to communicate something, it only works with guessing and he answering with yes or no. He had to give up every hobby that he was passionate about, because he is unable to do them now.

He had to stop working and had to sell the company he built up for more than 20 years.

All of this resulted from from stress he put on himself in his work.
He tried to micro-manage everyone in his company, do bookkeeping, be on-site for emergencies, etc. He wanted to do it all, and he wanted to do it perfect. I rarely remember him not being stressed.

He got taught an incredible gruesome lesson, and I decided to benefit from the lesson and share it with you guys.


I feel like I cannot repeat this enough. I think it is absolutely vital that we all take lots of time to decompress from the stress that our job, or other situations give us. If someone keeps up an extreme pace for a longer time, I can almost guarantee you - it will not end well, or at least it will not be worth it.

If you are at a job where even after you get home, you still are stressed about your job, I think it might be a reason to consider another employer or talk to your supervisor.

Don't get me wrong - There is nothing wrong with ambition. You have to work hard, to get things that are worth having. That's absolutely right and I agree. But when you find yourself being stressed in a negative way every single day, that is a problem!

You might think now - "Ah, I'm still young, I can keep that up", you are wrong. Getting strokes happens also to young people all the time.
It kills more people every year than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

So if you are constantly stressed, please decompress. Just do it. Go for a walk, drink a tea, take a weekend trip, take that day off you wanted.
And also, keep an eye on your loved ones and tell them if you think they're stressing too much.

Also, I left my last job for this (not exclusively, but among the top reasons) and am now jobless. Or full-time self-teaching myself. Whatever sounds better to you. But I am in strong belief that it was the right call.

I hope I didn't scare you too much, but maybe it is okay to be scared. It's a mechanism that protects us from bad things. Maybe we should trust that feeling 😉

Ok, I rambled on for quite a bit. Let me know if you have a loved one that suffered this and tell me if it affected your career path.

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

Top comments (4)

pablorotten profile image
Pablo Antonio Rodríguez Rubio

Thanks for writing this!

Sometimes I feel bad about leaving work on time because some colleagues stay overworking. But articles like this help not to worry about what others think and simply do what's best for you.

themarcba profile image
Marc Backes

I used to be the same. But now I think it's the right move. Of course if there is an emergency in the company, one has to step in. Should just not be the rule.

lastdojo profile image
Erik Santana

So sorry about your father. I recently had a life changing medical event and it really put everything into perspective. Jobs are important, but not at the cost of your wellbeing. I used to stress myself about everything. Now, I take my time and try to enjoy everything I can. My family/health is my top priority. I hope everybody follows your advice. Thanks for the great post.

themarcba profile image
Marc Backes

I'm sad to hear. I hope you recover well from whatever happened to you. Yes, self-care and time with family is very important indeed.