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These Highly Successful People Tell You To Take Vacations From Work

These Highly Successful People Tell You To Take Vacations From Work

Americans have been tethered to their jobs ever since the Great Recession took a major blow to the economy of the United States. According to USA Today, for a household to live the “American Dream” as of 2014, the ideal lifestyle costs $130,357 per year. This includes mortgage, children, food, retirement planning, and health care. The average household income in the United States as cited by Census ACS survey is $52,250. For every Americans to afford the “American Dream”, taking a vacation is not an option. The fear of losing their jobs and getting left behind deters American to take vacations from work.

Many renowned and successful people, in terms of wealth and hard work, are aware that vacations are important in maintaining high-quality performance, not just as a reward for hard work and an outlet to release stress. Here are 12 renowned and successful people that may inspires you to grab that vacation you’ve been setting aside.

 1. Bill Gates

This year, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world according to Forbes. He is the founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates undertakes two, week long retreats each year. He evaluates the works of his company, devises new ideas, and reads the latest trends. He calls these two, week long retreats as his “Think Weeks.”

 2. Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the current CEO and president of Yahoo! Inc. Amidst all the issues surrounding her position and ethics at the multinational internet corporation, Mayer still finds time to rest and works 10-11 hours a day. According to CNN, Mayer said: “I pace myself by taking a week-long vacation every four months.”

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 3. John Donahoe

As CEO of the multinational corporation and e-commerce company, eBay, John Donahoe encourages people to take their vacations to reorganize their work schedule and to rejuvenate their spirit. “From time to time, I like to take a “thinking day.”

These are pre-scheduled, uninterrupted times to step away from the chaos, zero-base my time, and refocus on the issues that are most important.

4. Richard Branson

The founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies, Richard Branson adapted the “unlimited vacation time” for his employees at the Virgin’s US. He hopes this policy will strengthen the relationship of the employee and company and will have positive impact on the overall organization.

“How can you find time to get to know your children if you’re working with the very little holiday time you’re given?” cited by Branson stressing the importance of taking vacations from time to time.

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5. Tim Cook

Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple Inc., the company that produces the iPad, iPhone, and iPod products. He recently gave his employee a Thanksgiving Week off due to the successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

According to Cook, “Our people are the soul of our company, and we all need time to refresh and renew.”

 6. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg was the Vice-President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and she is now the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She constantly spends quality time with her two young children. How does she manage this? She leaves her office at 5:30 PM every day.

Sheryl Sandberg said that “Hey! I am leaving work at 5:30. And I say it very publicly, both internally and externally. And I hope that means other women and men, importantly men, feel comfortable going home seeing their kids” in a video by Makers.com.

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 7. JJ Ramberg

JJ Ramberg did not take vacations seriously when her company Goodshop.com was just starting, but now that it had grown into a success, she takes vacations incredibly serious as it helps her ward off burnout. “The successful entrepreneur will figure out what’s not working — and then come up with solutions, whether that’s hiring help, devising a new business strategy or simply taking a vacation to recharge the battery.”

 8. Jim Mofatt

Jim Moffatt is the chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He wrote an article entitled “Take a Serious Vacation: A CEO’s Advice to all CEO’s” to encourage people, most specifically CEO’s, to take vacations from their professions.

“If you really unplug, you will start thinking about the long term, strategic issues, and what we have to do to be successful over the 9-to-24-month period, and that is essential.” Jim Moffatt wrote.

 9. Sarah Michelle Gellar

The star of the hit-series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, Sarah Michelle Gellar, knows the importance of taking vacations from work. She said in an interview by Cosmopolitan, “We work really hard, and you have to remember once in a while that you can actually stop working and appreciate things. I’m definitely leading a much slower life now that I’m not working every single day on a television series.”

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 10. Larry Page

The co-founder of the world-renowned company Google, Larry Page’s contributions to the World Wide Web is revolutionary. He thinks that reducing the work time of employees will leads to positive results and overall greater performance of an organization.

In a chat with Fireside, Larry Page said, ‘Would you like an extra week of vacation?’ They raise their hands, 100% of the people. ‘Two weeks vacation, or a four-day work week?’ Everyone will raise their hand. Most people like working, but they’d also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests.”

11. Oprah Winfrey 

Dubbed as the “Queen of all Media”, Oprah Winfrey has been ranked as the richest African-American of the 20th century. As a host and producer of her own talk show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, she has taken her entire staff and their families on lots of tours – a Mediterranean cruise in 2009 and an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii in 2005.

Talk about generosity and the importance of taking a vacation, way to go Oprah!

12. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers in our time, and one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Interestingly, he takes a vacation before heading on to major tournaments so he can spend time with his kids and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. Amidst all the issues surrounding him, he still knows the importance of taking a break. “We had a good little time,” Woods said of his vacation with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn and his two kids. “We toured a little bit and even played a little Putt-Putt, which I won every single time.”

Featured photo credit: Spring Break Joy.jpg/clconroy via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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