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8 Reasons Why Taking A Vacation Makes You Better At Work

8 Reasons Why Taking A Vacation Makes You Better At Work

Workaholics please take note – a vacation is a must. So forget your guilty feelings. Trash your stoical attitude of boasting about not having had a break since the year dot. Times have changed!

We still have a long way to go but more and more employers and business owners are now realizing that taking a break may actually be more productive in the long run. However, one survey shows that half of the respondents were thinking of skipping the vacation or even taking work with them on holiday.

Another study shows that 82 percent of small business owners who took a vacation were performing better at work when they got back. An added bonus is that about a third of men who actually take this sensible step are less likely to die of heart disease. We need to face up to the truth:

  • Burnout will damage your reputation and your business.
  • You have a duty to be on top of the job.
  • Take an example from sports stars who regularly take breaks.
  • Fatigue will make relationships with stakeholders problematic.

So, here are eight reasons why taking a vacation makes you better at work. You can thank me afterwards.

1. Your office is not the place for inspiration

The work environment is hardly the place to generate new ideas, approaches and problem-solving techniques. You cannot be creative or get inspiration when you are under enormous pressure. A change of scene on a vacation can work wonders. You cannot switch off completely, but when you relax, creativity may blossom. Your mind will start asking questions you never thought of up until now. You’ll have a clearer mind because you are no longer tired.

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“Vacations help us change the view, which can spark an idea or kick start creative thinking.” – Rieva Lesonsky, CEO GrowBiz Media.

2. Leave your comfort zone

Taking a vacation is a challenge because you will be moving outside your normal sphere or comfort zone. You will have to get the office organized and work sorted while you are away. It is a wonderful opportunity to delegate and it is beneficial to actually see how the office performs without you. You will have to set up emergency contact procedures just in case, but ideally there should be no other contact with the office.

“Without vacations, we all become droids on network steroids, perhaps the president included.” – Lexy Funk, CEO Brooklyn Industries.

3. Your health benefits enormously

Look at all the extra bonuses you get. You feel better, sleep well and your mood is lifted. Your stress and anxiety are lower. Heart function and blood pressure begin to come back to normal levels.

“Vacations are extremely important. I come back energized and refueled and some of my best innovation either happens on vacation or immediately following because I have left my stress at the office.” – Julie Jumonville, CEO of UpSpring Baby

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4. Give your brain a break

Did you know that the USA is one of the countries where there are fewer days paid vacation, averaging only about 10 days a year? In the EU, the figure is almost double that because 20 days of paid holidays per year are the norm.

Most office workers are suffering from a sort of brain flooding where data in the form of emails, phone messages and other documentation starts pouring across the desks. Their brains are like sponges – they can only take so much.  But on vacation, new ideas and exotic vistas can strengthen the neural connections and stimulate mental activity.

Now, if you are worried that taking a vacation could help your competitors get ahead, think again. Research shows that the benefits of emotional stability and the mental relaxation process after a vacation will put you at the top of your game.

Your brain will be buzzing and you will be on a motivational high when you get back. Now that should worry your competitors a lot more.

5. A change is needed

Sheryl Crow sang, “A change would do you good.” If more people decided to change and take a vacation, then that would benefit the travel industry in the US by $67 billion! Now apart from helping the travel agents out, what benefits are there for you in deciding to make a change?

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Experiment with when you can take a vacation. Opt for the 100-hour one where you can add two or three days at either side of the weekend.

Change your idea that you can switch off at any time. One neurologist says that our brains make it progressively more difficult to switch off if we never take a break. You definitely need a change.

6. Do some networking

While on vacation, you will probably meet lots of new people and you will engage with some of them. They may well be in the same business so it really is worth your while maintaining contact through your LinkedIn profile and message center.

The opportunities are endless. You can discover new leads, explore potential new markets, plan revenue generating ventures, and new partnerships. It will happen naturally and the follow up should be friendly and without pressure.

7. Look at these extra bonuses

If you are a business owner, you will discover that the office can be run without you. You can see straightaway whether the delegating has worked and whether the projects are still on target. You will never discover how teams really work unless you take a vacation.

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If you are an employee or in team leader role, the same principle applies. Yes, the office can do without you but in your case, you have shown that your organizing skills are excellent and that you have successfully planned ahead. The projects will all meet their deadlines and the team is working well together. Now that should impress your boss!

8. Keep yourself and your workers happy

The famous accounting firm Ernst &Young did an interesting survey. They found that those who took more vacation time were getting consistently better grades on their performance assessment at the end of the year. Overall, they improved by eight percent. The holidaymakers had greater job satisfaction and were more likely to stay with the company.

So, forget the old work ethic that longer hours mean dedication and higher productivity. Take a vacation instead.

Featured photo credit: woman feet in hammock on the beach via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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