• Courtney Parks, MA, CPCC

Why Taking A Vacation Is The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Career

Contrary to popular belief, vacations can really help your career.


Think about what it feels like when you really need time off.

Now think about how that impacts your work.

You’re snippy with colleagues, it takes extra time to get things done and projects that excite you just feel like busy work.

Sometimes it’s just a bump in the road…and sometimes the only way to shift is to leave.

So whether you need time off now - or you’re nervous about taking it - here are 3 things that will help.

Bring your feelings with you

Many women have trouble with vacation because being unproductive makes them anxious.

When you’re used to being in GO mode, stepping off the treadmill can feel even more uncomfortable than staying on it - and the guilt that comes with relaxing can keep you from taking time off at all.

So here’s a tip: let yourself feel guilty!

Simply plan your vacation and give yourself, your guilt and your other feelings the chance to see that your world won’t end if you’re away.

You’ll probably be more productive when you get back - so know that your trip can help with that too.

Embrace the chance to change

When we give ourselves a taste of freedom from work, we often resist going back.

Most of us have post-vacation blues but soon we’re in the swing and feeling better. Some experience returning to work like it's a prison sentence.

If you’re in the second group, you have choices: either change the way you work or change your work entirely.

Convince your boss you’ll boost the bottom line by focusing on what you love and do best. Systematize, delegate or hire out tasks that annoy you or take too much time. Revamp your schedule so it finally fits your work and your life.

If it’s really bad, start planning your exit strategy and focus on your next move.

Use your vacation to step back and see your work with fresh eyes - and let it be a catalyst for a new and improved version of your career.

Think outside the box

When I take time to relax and enjoy, I often get a surge of ideas and inspiration - and many of my clients do as well.

New energy, different environments and the chance to unplug allow our visions to expand.

The key is to take action on those ideas quickly so you don't slip back into status quo. Dive into that project, join that group, make those connections and take concrete steps toward creating something better professionally.

And when you find yourself aching for another vacation and you think it’s just personal, remember all the ways that it can help your work too.

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