Banishing post-holiday blues: A recipe for creating career inspiration from your next vacation
Having recently returned from a couple weeks exploring a new part of the world (Sri Lanka and Oman, you should go), it occurred to me that I often feel the most invigorated about my career, past and future, while I am away from the day to day. Hopefully, we all know that taking a break is important for our mental and physical health, but with a few simple strategies I find it can deliver much more for my career mindset and I arrive home with renewed focus on my personal and professional goals. I've shared my strategies for a career-minded getaway below - happy holidaying!
Before you go
Housekeeping first - make a note of what needs your attention when you get back to the office and make sure it includes a password reminder. There's no motivation buzzkill like spending your first morning back on the phone with IT to reset it...
Consider the time since your last holiday - what have you achieved that you are most proud of? What have you been procrastinating about and what circumstances do you wish were different?
While you are away
Take a few days to leave work/career behind. I find that it starts to creep into your mind when you are ready to talk about it, so give yourself some time to leave it alone
Choose your method - I'm verbal, so talking through my ideas, fears and goals with someone is key. On our holidays, I spend a lot of time chatting with my husband about our careers and what we want to do next. Travelling solo? Call a trusted friend from a bar stool perch (with a view) or simply make new friends on the road. Alternatively, I know someone that writes everything down, alone and then keeps revisiting it until they are ready to share their thoughts (or not) so do whatever resonates with you to reflect
Ask yourself some questions to get under the skin of where you should be focusing your efforts and prioritising your time. Here are some of my favourites:
Where would I like to be in a year's time? What needs to happen for me to get there and who do I need to engage to help?
Do I think that I am in the right role/company? If yes, how can I add more value and create new challenges to maintain momentum. If no, what role or company would be a better fit.
What are my career ambitions outside of my current industry? You might have aspirations for a career change or even a side hustle - think about whether this applies to you and if there is something you can do to lay the ground work for that to become a reality. For example, you work in finance but want to express your artistic side making and selling handmade jewellery? Great - plan to book a class or set up an Etsy account when you get home.
Is there anything in my personal life that is making my career aspirations more challenging? What can I do to improve that situation?
Before you get home, write down clear actions based on your reflections and make sure they have a timeline attached. One of my actions from my recent holiday was to write and share this article and I told myself I would do it by the end of my first week back home. Tick!
When you get home
Set a non-career goal. Just like a holiday can been a good chance for a mental career reset, the daily routine can do the same for personal goals. This can be super simple - mine this time is just to learn how to poach an egg. It's a bit silly, but I'm already looking forward to trying it this weekend. And if you have any tips, please do share as a lot of eggs have been harmed in this process so far....
Plan your next getaway! It gives you a clear check in for the actions you have set and is something to look forward to.
Would love to hear if this helpful, and of course all tips on egg poaching. Happy travels, career and otherwise.