It pays to think “September” in August
Via LinkedIn : Perhaps it seems a bit premature of me to be welcoming you to September. After all, August has barely begun. It’s not that I don’t want you to enjoy any holiday you are due this month – far from it – I just want you to try something different when you’re about to head off.
My plea is for you to start thinking about your return to work right now. If you’re feeling too tired (and in need of a holiday) to do this then perhaps it’s even more reason to break the vicious circle of lethargy. Put aside a little time pre-holiday to reflect on your career – you could be surprised how much you enjoy both your down time and that “back to school” moment as a result.
The fact is that most people spend more time planning their next holiday than they spend planning their next career move. This is hard to fathom as careers are becoming more complicated. The perfect career won’t just happen; you are responsible for your own destiny. We change and grow so a career plan has to change and flex – and sometimes it has to be rewritten altogether. But if you don’t have a plan you don’t have much chance of success. Most of us would not set off on holiday with no transport and accommodation booked, or with no passport and credit cards, so why would you be ill-prepared when most peoples’ return to work is just a few weeks away.
So before you go, assess your career and where you want to be. Maybe evaluate what the best candidate for your ideal role looks like; decide how you stack up and plan to close any gap between where you are and where you want to be. Then think about what mental preparation you can do while you’re away. Even when you’re climbing a mountain, visiting the museum or lying on the sun lounger by the pool it’s a great time to mull over who and what you want to be when you return. What’s really important to you? What motivates you to give your best? And what do you really like doing?
Make sure you share your thoughts with others when you’re at your most relaxed – people with great careers spend time telling loved ones, as well as their managers, about their plans and hopes. These are the people who will know you best and will be able to give great feedback. It is well worth the time and trouble to do all this – the clarity of your focus once you return will shine through.
As Winston Churchill said: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work again”. And once you reach this nirvana, then in your mind you’ll be on holiday all year around – and not just in August.
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