Work transitions can be tough but as counterintuitive as it may be, it’s the best time to take a vacation (especially with miles and points). If you’re leaving your job, take a vacation.
No Permission Required
I hate asking permission to use my vacation days. In fairness to my previous employers, I haven’t often been turned down or pressured not to take time away as some at other companies are. That being said, my vacation days are mine, they are part of my compensation and I wouldn’t ask my boss for permission to spend a bonus so I don’t want to ask permission to use them. But once you leave your job, you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission anymore. That, I find, to be very liberating.
Take As Much Time As You Need
Busy professionals have a limited amount of time they can take. For some that might be just two weeks for the entire year, consuming more than half that on one trip can make life miserable upon their return. But while you’re searching for work or in between your last job and your next one schedule some you time.
One thing to consider is finding a cheaper place to spend a longer period of time. Job searches can take a while, and even if you already have your next gig, you might find yourself hanging around for two unscheduled weeks if your company decides you don’t need to work your notice period (that’s the best).
Find a cheap Airbnb in Mexico, use miles to head to Thailand, get to some place with cheap flights or award space where you can live cheaper for longer.
You Need the Break, Reset
If you quit your job, you probably weren’t happy. If you were let go, times have been stressful. It’s important to leave the baggage from your previous job at your previous job. Vacations are good for you.
Most Americans are bad at taking time away from work. In 2017, Americans left $255bn worth of vacation days on the table and the worst part of taking a long break is coming back to a mountain of work. When you take a break in between jobs, however, you can finally relax instead of worrying the last days of your trip about the workload awaiting your return.
It’s a natural reset. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to start your new gig or change directions. If you were let go, it’s a way to take back the power from a bad situation and determine your own fate.
It’s Liberating and Empowering
Everyone will tell you that you’re crazy or you mustn’t have needed the job if you can afford to take a vacation in the face of financial insecurity. Pay them no mind. First of all, you have points, miles, vouchers to get you there for free anyway. But even if you don’t, it’s liberating to fly in the face of traditional wisdom. It’s also incredibly empowering. Why? Because it will remind you that everything is going to be fine, that you’re capable of getting back on your feet and that worrying will not help you get to the next step.
Practicing What I Preach
Whether I leave of my own accord, or it was someone else’s choice – I always take a vacation following a departure from my last job. As you might have imagined, this post was born out of a recent transition in my work life. While I have gone on a trip even when the choice was not mine, in this instance I decided it was time to leave.
I cleaned out my desk, reset everything as they were before, and took off for a very long vacation. It was glorious. While I will miss my old co-workers (some of them), it will also be a long time before I can really get away with my family again. We needed the trip.
Bonus: Set The Tone For Your Next Gig
One rule I learned from a good friend is to always set your priorities and norms from the start with a new employer. To set the tone, I always have an upcoming trip when I start my next job. In this case, I have set up a future trip already, and they understand what they are getting.
But if I hadn’t anything booked yet, I would let them know that I have a trip coming up and then… book one. It’s not going to be a fit for either of us if taking time away is a problem and it would be better to learn that about each other before the relationship starts.
Have you spent some time away in between jobs? Are you against the idea? What do you think?