It’s the time of year when many people will take time off from work. If you haven’t had the chance to practice work-life balance in a while, unplugging from work for the holidays may be a great way to end the year. We hope to encourage you to take some time off successfully and be proactive about doing so with a few helpful tips. (more…)
All year long, you dream about taking a vacation – just relaxing and enjoying some “me” time. Studies show that a work-life balance is important to your health and mental well being. Vacations are all about cutting loose and catching a break from everyday worries. To make your time away from work the stress-free oasis you’re after, follow these few simple tips.
Give Plenty of Notice
Nothing’s worse than booking a week in paradise only to discover you can’t get the time off. Save yourself the headache and the cancellation fees by getting your supervisor’s written approval before making final arrangements. That way if your dates have to be changed, you won’t be out the cost of plane tickets or a hotel room.
This is particularly important if you want time off around holidays like Memorial Day or Fourth of July. Chances are many of your co-workers will also request holiday vacations, and the time off may go to whoever asks first.
Don’t Leave Co-Workers in a Lurch
When you know you’re going away for several days, prepare by completing assignments before you head out. If you have projects that can’t be done ahead of time, be sure to leave detailed instructions for your co-workers to complete.
Tying up loose ends at work will simplify life for you and your co-workers. You won’t have to worry about coming back to projects that were botched from a lack of knowledge. And your co-workers won’t stress over handling unfamiliar duties.
Unplug to Unwind
Make the most of vacation time by limiting access to your cell phone, computer, or other mobile devices. To really get a break from the demands of your work life, you’ll need to set boundaries.
If you spend your vacation time checking email, calling into the office for updates, or catching up with co-workers on Facebook, you’re not giving yourself the breath of fresh air you need. While a little connectivity can be a positive, too much screen time can suck the life out of your vacation.
Seize the Day
Can’t get away from work for a whole week? If finances or a hectic schedule limit your time off options, don’t despair. You can enjoy a great vacation even if it’s only for a few days. Consider fun, long weekend options like camping at the lake, getting pampered at a day spa, or enjoying rides at an amusement park. With a little creativity, you’ll find a short break can be just as refreshing as an extended vacation.
Stay Close, Save Big
Maybe traveling to an exotic locale isn’t in the budget this year. You can still get a breather from work without breaking the bank. Treat yourself to a staycation – a vacation at home.
A staycation can save you big money by eliminating the need for airfare, a rental car, or a hotel. Catch up on your favorite shows, read a few novels, and enjoy your friends, family and pets. You can even check out the local tourist spots that you’ve always heard about but never had time to try.
Everybody needs a little rest and relaxation from time to time. With just a bit of planning, you’ll ensure your time away from work is truly a vacation. Being flexible about when, where, and how long you’re away will open the door for you to try new things and give you the break you crave.
Whether you’re looking for a new job or planning to move up in your current position, now is the perfect time to focus on your career. Between use-it-or-lose-it vacation policies, inclement weather, and time off during the holidays, many people find themselves with additional free time during the winter.
Here are five ways to make the most of your time off and keep your professional life going forward.
Take a break: It may seem counterproductive, but give yourself permission to relax. A few days off can change your perspective, especially if you spend the time doing something you enjoy. You’ll come back to work or the job hunt with a refreshed viewpoint.
Update your résumé: Make changes to your résumé that reflect expanded job duties, additional volunteer work, or continued education. Double check that everything is current and take extra time to check for typos. Check out these tips to get your résumé into shape.
Write a new cover letter: Cover letters are a way to summarize your goals and strengths. Writing one can be a succinct way to prioritize your goals, even if you’re not planning to make a career move soon. Having a polished cover letter available also comes in handy if a dream position or promotion should become available. Not sure where to start? Check out these 30 power words that can help your letter get noticed.
Check out social media: If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, create one to connect with other professionals in your industry or the industry you’d like to work in. LinkedIn is a great place to find out about local networking events, and showcase your job skills. Also use this time to check your Facebook privacy settings and remove any questionable content a potential employer might see on your profile.
Sort through your wardrobe: Clean your closet and give those items that no longer fit your professional goals to charity. Dress for Success and Career Gear, national organizations that help disadvantaged women and men reach their goals of self-sufficiency by providing them interview clothes, provides receipts for tax-deductible donations. Take the time to try on your clothes to determine what you like, don’t like, need to have tailored, or sent to the dry cleaner. Replace essential items and organize your closet or dresser for speedier prep time on busy mornings.
These are just a few examples of how you can still be productive, but relaxed, during free time. A few minutes spent on tasks like these can reduce anxiety when you’re faced with a job interview or pivotal moment in your career. You’ll feel more confident and prepared, a terrific start to propelling your career.
Despite economic conditions and expert predictions that people may be wary of taking time off work this summer, our latest poll found that this year, workers are indeed planning time away from the job.
In fact, 77% of over 1,100 respondents said that they planned to take some time off from work this year.
When asked “What are your thoughts on taking a vacation this year?” 42% of respondents said they plan to take time off work to travel, 35% said they plan to take time off work because they need time away from the office, 18% said they are not planning to take time off work because they can’t afford it, and only 5% said they are not planning to take time off work because of concerns over job security.
Are you planning time off work this year? If so, what are your plans? Share your fun vacation and relaxation tips in the comments section.
And, if you know you need a break but are looking for some inspiration, check out our post on inexpensive vacation ideas.