Monday, June 6, 2016
The Work You Absolutely Must Do While on Vacation
The problem is that many of us have forgotten the point of a vacation. It's to relax. Say it with me now: RELAX.
But as long as we have our phones or laptops with us, that's not likely to happen. We're going to check email (even though we posted an "on vacation" auto response) and we're likely to keep up with happenings in the office.
I'm not going to jump on you for that (although you really do know better), but I'm going to tell you that you can work while on vacation -- just in a different way.
Instead of the short-range thinking about work, such as email or texting a co-worker, I want you to think of your career in the long-term. Specifically, I want you to think about if you're really using solutions that work for you.
For example, maybe you hate deadlines. You like to work at a slow and steady pace, and not face the pressure of someone screaming for you to turn in your work. Or, perhaps you thrive on deadlines -- you like the adrenaline rush and thrive best when pushed to your limit.
If you like the slow and steady pace, why are you in a job that has constant deadlines? If you're more of an adrenaline junkie, why are you in a job that rarely pushes you or provides you with challenges?
In other words, why are you working so hard against what comes naturally to you? Not everyone is the same -- some people work best in the early mornings, while others can conquer the world at 10 p.m.
Often, people complain about their bosses or their colleagues, claiming that these people are the cause of their job or career unhappiness.
But could it be that you are simply in a job that doesn't fit with your natural tendencies? That you will never like working in a job that requires such attention to detail since you really are more of a big-picture kind of person?
This summer, use your time away from the office not to answer emails, but to simply give yourself time to think about what makes you happy. What feels right for you. Make a list of the things you like to do, what energizes you and what makes you excited to get up every day. When you think about specific tasks, think more broadly. Do you like giving presentations because you like the creativity of creating a compelling PowerPoint? Do you like handling tough customers because you like negotiating?
I hope you enjoy your vacation this year and find time to laugh and rest and recharge. But I also hope you'll take the opportunity to better understand yourself -- to step back and truly understand what works for you and what doesn't. Then, embrace what makes you unique and use it to help you be happier on the job.