Job seekers still need to get away from it all

Tags: careers Jobbook Vacation

Have you taken a vacation this year? Do you plan to?

I notice interesting patterns when I ask that question of my job-seeking clients. Some folks reply, “No, absolutely not — I can’t dream of taking a vacation until I’m back to work.”

If I had my druthers, the answer given by all job seekers would be, “Of course, I’ll take my vacation. I need to recharge.” But if you’re “vacation-resistant,” I hope you’ll consider my answers to the arguments I most frequently hear from people who won’t take a break.

Argument 1: “I can’t afford a vacation.” But have you explored borrowing a friend’s house while he or she is out of town? Or spending time at a relative’s cabin? Even a short camping trip can feel like a vacation if you’re able to get away from things.

Argument 2: “I might miss a call from an employer.” To be honest, when I hear this one from my clients, I mostly think they’re digging for an excuse.

Argument 3: “I won’t be able to relax.” This might be true, but I usually think it’s worth finding out. And besides, who 
really relaxes on vacations? Relaxing is part of the point, but maybe not the whole mission.

Now, here are my top reasons for why you really do need to do this.

Reason 1: You need the rest, and so does your family. Even if you can’t relax, that doesn’t mean the rest of your family won’t.

Reason 2: You need the fresh perspective. This is, by far, my most pressing concern for my job-seeking clients. When they don’t take breaks, they wear themselves down emotionally and mentally and it shows.

Reason 3: You need to build some memories of this period that aren’t about job interviews and résumé revisions.

Reason 4: It’s true: You might not get another chance for a while. The United States has fewer national days of rest than almost any other country.

My point? Take your break now, since you can’t count on your new job, and certainly not on the federal holiday system to provide you with rest days after you’re re-employed.

Amy Lindgren owns Prototype Career Service, a career consulting firm in St. Paul, Minn. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 626 Armstrong Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.

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