With the coming holiday season, there will be days where there will be extended break periods or long weekends (hello, 2020!). Don’t treat it as business as usual, make it work in your favour. Why don’t you take the opportunity to make the most of this holiday downtime and use it as the opportunity to work on your career? We’re not saying to take your work home with you, but plan it so that your work does not pile up and work out what you want to achieve over the next twelve months.
With a little bit of planning ahead, you can plan mini-vacations throughout the year. What my friends and I do are take a look at the calendar and plan our vacations around non-working holidays, and then add in a couple of days leave. This can make your two days leave into a five-day vacation, factoring in the weekend. You can take paid mini-vacations every quarter or so. Mini-breaks spread throughout the year means that your stress does not build up than if you take a long break but wait a whole year for it. This makes you more refreshed to tackle even the most challenging situations at work.
Don’t break the bank
With seat sales for budget airlines a dime a dozen, you can take a vacation overseas without breaking the bank. The catch is that the travel dates are usually months after the buy-in dates. This plays beautifully well if you planned far ahead. Better yet, invite your workmates. This makes for a better esprit de corps within your department and builds up camaraderie. And if you go with friends, you can stay in an AirBnB instead of a fancy hotel, which is way more budget friendly. I don’t pay for an expensive hotel when I go on vacation seeing as I will be out all day touring the sites and I will only be inside my room to sleep. All I need is a good bed and bathroom in a nice location, which doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Use your time management skills
Don’t use holidays as a time to catch up on chores, it just makes for a mundane day with nothing to remember it by. Instead, break up your chores into manageable chunks and do it during the weekdays. We’re all guilty of thinking of weekends as the deadline for a chore that we dread doing. We think: I’ll just do it this Saturday when I have more time. What happens is that we put off a lot of things and Saturday just ends up overloaded, with all the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, and the whatnot that piled up because we put it off. Your time off does not mean that the work stops, as well. Have a contingency plan that will cover your work while you’re away.
Catch up with your loved ones
If you’re working overseas, chances are that your loved ones are back in your home country. Don’t be blue, though, as you’re actually better off than the migrant workers of the past. My Aunt recalled that back when she worked in Abu Dhabi in the ‘80s, her Mom wrote Christmas cards that she received at the end of January! You can actually talk to your loved ones real-time now, and in a video, too! Have you tried doing a video call party where they can include you in their festivities via technology?
Take stock of your career
If you feel like time is passing you by, the holidays are the best time to take stock of your career. Do a recap of what’s been happening and ask yourself if the direction you’re hurtling through is still where you want to go. Are you stuck in a job that’s not your dream career? Did you want to go abroad and become a licensed professional? It’s time to get your TrueProof ahead of time so you’ll stand head and shoulders above other job seekers come January.
Make it memorable
Do you remember what you did at the last non-working holiday? What are the days that you remember? Do you want to live your life living days that you don’t recall? Do something new. Chances are that it will be something that will stick in your mind.
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