Out of Office: Develop Your Career While on Vacation
When it comes to vacations, most North American employees simply aren’t taking their fair share – they don’t use all of their allotted time. This is a mistake. Vacation doesn’t just enrich your personal life, the relaxation effects recharge your batteries when you return. Here are tips to make the most out of your vacation that maximizes both elements of work-life balance.
Plan networking visits
Why check out a local coffee shop alone? Before you visit a new location, do a quick search on LinkedIn to see if anyone in your network either lives in that location, or is connected to someone they can introduce to you. Meeting up with a local for networking while on vacation produces greater face-to-face impact than simply exchanging digital messages. It doesn’t have to be all about business, however. You can also get a sense of the area for your vacation from someone who lives who knows the geography.
Let your creativity flow
At work, you likely have deadlines and project parameters that don’t allow much creative thinking. Over time, this can shut down your ability to innovate and think about the big picture. But on vacation, giving yourself time away to read a fiction novel, work on an art project, or just allow yourself to daydream can help jump-start fresh thinking when you return to work.
Think big picture
Related to the idea of getting outside daily survival mode, when you are on vacation you can think about the big picture – what do you really want out of your job? Do you want a promotion? Do you want to make a bigger difference? Do you want to move to a different department or company? When you give yourself time, you can answer the important questions that often get crowded out by urgent matters.
And don’t feel guilty. There’s a temptation to split the difference between productivity and vacation mode. In the long run, this will make you less productive. Your stores of energy and attention are finite, so when you’re taking a break, unplug entirely. This will recharge your batteries and you’ll be able to dive into your project refreshed.
Why wait? Start planning your next vacation now.