I recently got my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (2015), and now I am doing a postdoc in Computer Science at a top tier university. I have a decent number of publications (>12) in respectable journals in my field, and an h-index of 5, some awards, travel grants, and so on. While I know numbers don't do justice to a person, unfortunately that's how you rate academics (which I think is part of the problem).
Despite the above, I feel increasingly lost, and not sure whether I want to pursue an academic career. I have been moving around in the world a lot, and combined with the delayed gratification of research, fixed-term contracts, intense competition, etc., I feel like I am burning out.
On the other hand, transitioning to industry scares me, since I have been dwelling in university laboratories for the past 10 years of my life. What if I don't like it there and want to come back? With the "publish or perish" attitude, after a few years of not publishing the doors of academia would be shut for me. Or at least that's my impression.
The result of all the above is a feeling of angst and despair, and wondering whether I have been wasting my time all these years, even though the numbers say the opposite (goddamn numbers!). Taking a break from everything and pursuing some of my hobbies for a while, on the other hand, seems like a decision that could be fruitful.