In the life of all interims there comes a moment when you really need to down tools, step away from the laptop and take an enforced break. I say enforced, because if you are like most of the career interims I know, down-time is usually reserved for finding that precious next assignment. Holidays are spent catching up on admin and updating your social media, not spending time feeling the sand between your toes. Oh horrors, did she mention the H-word?
Of course, there are several schools of thought here. Some interims view holidays the same way they would raw oysters – an experience to be gotten through in one gulp. Personally, I’m a firm believer in the power of pause – both during and between assignments. Reaching burn-out because you’ve done an 18 month stretch of 18 hour days is life-shortening, never mind career-limiting. Not good for you, or your clients!
So, how can you make the most of your holiday – without going into serious meltdown because you’ve been on your surf board, instead of a job board! Here are a few of my top tips:
Step away from the smartphone!
In an ever connected world, it’s tempting to scan emails, text and update social media on an ongoing basis. So in order to switch off, switch off! Literally. The world is not going to stop revolving because you haven’t checked your voice-mail. Trust me on that one! Still, you may need to be contactable at least part of the time you’re on holiday, so ration yourself to a short period at the beginning and the end of your away days to check in and check up. Make sure that your clients know how to get hold of you in a real emergency. It goes without saying that your ‘out of office’ should also be up to date!
Happiness is an app called Hootsuite!
I use an app called Hootsuite to schedule tweets and blog updates when I’m on holiday. It’s a social media management tool that works with social media channels like Twitter, WordPress, Google+ and Facebook. Useful when you are on assignment, even more useful when you would rather be seeing the sights instead of checking out Linked-In.
Mind your Ps & Qs!
Now, I don’t mean etiquette here… for me, holidays are valuable opportunities to prioritise ‘Peace and Quiet’ – the chance to set aside some time for reflection and planning. I usually get my best insights when going for a solitary walk on the beach. But whether it’s sleep, sunbathing or sipping cocktails in Bora-Bora that does it for you – relaxation is a powerful tool to recharge your thinking, as well as your interim battery!
So, what do you think? Are holidays heaven or hell? Answers on the blog, please…
Lisa Bondesio is a career interim and founder of Chiridion Consulting. She will be spending this summer on holiday.