A client I assisted recently called me to give me some good news. The resume I prepared for her had brought an interview request in 2 hours. (While impressive, that wasn’t even the record) But during the conversation, I discovered she’d submitted the resume while in the hospital. I remembered her talking about how bad her present role was.

But getting to the point of hospitalization? I just couldn’t have imagined it.

According to stress.org, 83% of the employees in the United States suffer from work-related stress, with 25% indicating their job is the #1 stressor.

Being that I talk to people daily about resume writing and job-related issues, I always had a sense of this. But I didn’t know the specifics – that 1 million Americans are absent from work daily due to stress, and that 76% say workplace stress negatively affects their personal relationships.

So, I know that from the womb, most of us are conditioned to get on that hamster wheel, spinning our little feet continuously to get to the top of whatever chosen career path we undertake. But each of us needs to ask ourselves if an all-out pursuit of the exec suite is worth the toll it takes on us.

A 2012 survey conducted by CEO Health and Wellness revealed the following about CEOs and executives:

59% were at high cardiac risk

36% had high blood pressure

13% were at risk of developing diabetes

23% had high blood cholesterol levels

(I don’t know about you, but that’s a little too close to an early dirt nap for my taste)

Now, I am not saying ignore your drive to achieve, throw away your $85K college education, and roam the beaches of Madagascar in torn jean shorts with a bong and set of bongos. You can still pursue the C suite and all of the financial benefits that it has to offer. You just need to put some guard rails in place to ensure you don’t get driven over the edge of a cliff while you are at it..

Of course, “on the interwebs” there are dozens of pages dedicated to giving advice on how to reduce stress at work. But my faves are the following:

Set boundaries

Eliminate interruptions

Identify where stress is self-imposed

Don’t wait until you are 57 with heart trouble to put checks in place to ensure you survive the workplace. Get control now, before you wake up with tubes in your nose.