This article comes from Ramon Greenwood, an Ivy Exec Contributor.
You may think this is a difficult time to take a vacation. Well it is, but remember this career advice: Time away from the job will improve your efficiency and help accelerate your career…and, of course, improve your personal life. In the end, personal downtime will benefit your employer as well. Hopefully, you have the courage and wisdom to act on this axiom.
Eight Steps To A Successful Vacation
Let’s all hold up our right hands and swear we will abide by eight common sense ideas that will help assure that our vacation times will serve their best purposes.
1. Come to grips with the fact that you are not indispensable. Fact is, absent a serious emergency, your employer can get along for a few days without you. However, it is to be hoped that your absence will cause everyone to understand and appreciate how much you contribute when you are on the job.
2. Reject the macho idea that long hours with your nose to the grindstone demonstrate strength and commitment. It’s what you produce that counts for your employer and for the advancement of your career. Even an ox needs time out of the yoke.
3. Plan your vacation well in advance. Set a date and hold to it, come hell or high water. Cancel your time away from the job only on a direct order from your boss or a personal emergency. If your employer forces you to cancel your vacation, make sure he has a good reason. If this happens more than once, absent a sound cause, consider whether you are working in an environment that will nurture your work to reach your career goals.
4. As you near the date of your vacation, begin to execute your plan with the same attention to details as you do projects on the job. Do work in advance. Advise those with whom you work of your plans and what you expect to happen while you are away. Delegate tasks to be accomplished during your absence.
5. Name a “gatekeeper” through whom you can be reached. Be sure this is a person who will protect your turf and time.
6. Do not check with the office while you are on vacation. Someone will call you if you are needed. Don¹t panic if they don¹t contact you. Instead, take satisfaction in two things: (1) you are working with capable people who can and will follow your directions and (2) your vacation plan is working.
7. Flush work out of your mind. Put other components of your life in perspective. Recharge your batteries. Read things totally unrelated to your work. Get plenty of rest. Re-bond with your friends and family. Appreciate the time you have away from the pressures of your job.
8. Be prepared to double your efforts when you return from vacation to catch up and move ahead on your career path.
Career Advice: It’s well to remember that there is no known record of anyone wishing on their deathbed that they had spent less time on vacation.
For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times participate in Ramon Greenwood’s widely read Common Sense At Work Blog His e-book, How To Get The Pay Raise You’ve Earned is available from Amazon.