At 47, Thomas Sommer sensed it was time to change the way he worked. He had held multiple, challenging roles at Credit Suisse, but after 20 years at the firm, he felt exhausted, fenced in and rudderless.
Sommer felt he couldn't make a difference anymore. "The values at Credit Suisse no longer matched my own values. My heart said change something. You aren't able to have an impact in your work,” he said. “But my head didn't want to hear that."
Despite those nagging feelings, Sommer continued in the job for three more years. His 14-hour workdays, including a long commute via train to Zurich, Switzerland, from his home in Germany, meant he was too busy for deep self-reflection. Then, right before the most important meeting of the year in 2012, Sommer blacked-out, sweating and panicked. He burned out: Sommer didn't return to work for nine months.