FROM THE TRENCHES: Take a Vacation and Stay on Track for That Promotion.
You probably know that taking time for a vacation offers some great benefits, yet Americans continue to let millions of vacation days go unused each year. When you’re working hard to get ahead in your career, taking that time off to head out on vacation may seem like an unattainable luxury. You’ve got deadlines, emails and performance reviews coming up, so maybe you think that a vacation and promotion just can’t coexist.
If you’re dreaming about spending some quality time on the beach, don’t give up on that dream. You can stay on track with your career plans, take a bit of time off and still make your way toward that promotion. In fact, taking time off has been shown to improve your performance reviews. It just might be time to go ahead and ditch the office for a bit of time to recharge.
Want a great vacation and the promotion? Here are a few easy tips that can help you stay on track with career plans without sacrificing your vacation time.
Tip No. 1 – Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time
Before you book that trip to the Bahamas, consider when the best time would be for you to go on vacation. Try to pick dates that don’t interfere with big deadlines or projects, and find out if your company has any guidelines. Once you have a time in mind, be thoughtful enough to ask your boss if you can get away at that time. Your boss will handle your vacation better if you ask and plan it together.
Planning ahead reduces stress for you, too. You won’t have to worry as much about the time off hurting your chance of a promotion, and you’ll have all that time to anticipate your holiday.
Tip No. 2 – Knock Off Important Work Before You Leave
When you know you’re going on vacation, it’s time to begin working on taking care of important work before you leave. Get organized and make a list of the things that must be finished before your time off, and then make sure you have enough time to get it all done. Be sure to delegate tasks that you won’t be able to do while you’re away so you can relax and ensure that everything runs smoothly without you for a few days.
Tip No. 3 – Check in While You’re Away
Although you’ll want to spend some time disconnecting while you’re vacationing, it’s a good idea to check in while you’re away. Technology makes it easy to check in daily, and most bosses expect you to stay connected while you’re off on vacation. You don’t have to be constantly available, but you’ll set yourself up for a promotion by setting aside a bit of time to deal with emails or to help out if there’s an emergency.
Tip No. 4 – Keep Clients Up to Date
Of course, it’s always critical to keep clients happy, so keep clients up to date on your plans. Let them know that you’ll be gone for a few days, and give them an alternative point of contact if they need something while you’re away. Be sure to set up your auto-responder to let people know you’re out of the office, too.
Tip No. 5 – Have a Plan to Get Back on Track When You Return
Last, make sure that you have a plan to get back on track when you return from your vacation. Allow for some time to transition back into the flow at work, so avoid scheduling too many important things on that first day back in the office. Then get ready to show how beneficial that vacation was by being super productive.
You don’t have to give up on your career plans to enjoy a vacation. You need that time away — it’s good for your physical and mental health. Just take time to plan ahead, make your time off as easy as you can for your boss and colleagues, and then come back refreshed and ready to work hard and earn that promotion.