Nothing Wrong with Sick Days

I will admit that I never anticipated featuring Justin Bieber as a topic of a blog post. I am fairly confident in saying that his fan base is not comprised of the same people as my reading demographic. But, a recent article about Mr. Bieber’s onstage bout of illness and the lessons it has for the rest of us about work ethic is one worth sharing.

For those not up-to-date on the latest teen idol news, Justin Bieber became physically ill during a concert in Arizona, in front of thousands of his young fans, but continued with the show. Allison Linn then wrote a piece for the Today show arguing that this is not an approach we should take if we get sick in our cubicles. Sometimes, it’s OK and actually suggested that you say, “Sorry, folks! Just can’t be here anymore today!” And then walk to the elevators.

As Linn states, your co-workers don’t want you sitting at your desk all day spreading germs. You likely aren’t very productive when not feeling healthy and may make serious mistakes because your mind is cloudy and you are tired. Take a sick day, curl up on the couch with some soup, and try again tomorrow.

Maybe you feel like you cannot take a day off because you will lose that competitive edge or things will fall apart without you. If the former is an issue, then perhaps your employer needs to look at the dynamics he has created for the workplace. If you think the latter, well, it’s probably not true.

We can’t be so driven to accelerate in our careers that we do not stop to take care of ourselves. There needs to be a balance if you hope to maintain long-term success in your life. An unhealthy body that is ignored for too long will develop issues that require more time of you than a single day here and there to rest. If you have sick days, don’t be afraid to use them.

Have you ever gone to work when you were very ill because you were worried about the professional consequences if you didn’t?

About the author


Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.