Summer is in full swing – but what does that mean for your job search? While we’ve mentioned before that a job search is a lot like a full time job, the two aren’t exactly the same. Basically, a job search is like a full time job without a manager. In other words, during your job search, you have no one to dictate your vacation time, and no one to turn down your request! While you’ve been working hard and deserve a break, vacationing can take up precious time for those in the middle of a job search. It’s easy to feel guilty and stressed about your week-long beach vacation. So what do you do?
In order to make your decision a bit easier, we’ve collected some questions you should ask yourself before choosing between taking that vacation and slaving away at the computer this summer. Check them out:
1: How stressed are you?
If the answer to this question is “Extremely!” then it’s important to consider how a vacation will affect your stress. If your stress levels have you feeling out of control or even sick, it may be smart to take a few days off. That being said, if the idea of being away from your phone while you’re at the beach totally stresses you out, a vacation could potentially be the worst thing for your health. Instead of leaving the state for a getaway, consider enjoying the outdoors for a few minutes or hours at a time! Take the time to shut your laptop and read a book on the back porch and enjoy your summertime in smaller doses. This will help combat your stress without causing even more.
2: Can you afford it?
Of course, if money is tight due to current unemployment, taking a vacation might not be the smartest move. However, asking yourself whether you can “afford” to take a vacation refers to more than just your financial situation. Where are you in your job search? If you’re just starting, a vacation might not hurt! That being said, if you’re beginning to line up interviews, leaving town could very likely cost you a job. Remember: chances are that you’re one of many applicants for any job opening. If you’re not available to interview when the hiring manager wants to meet, your resume could very well be thrown away.
3: Will you have service? (And if so, will you want to use it?)
Heading on a cruise to alleviate stress seems like a good idea, but you probably won’t feel so great about it if you miss that email invitation for a networking event back home! That being said, there may be some cases in which you purposefully choose to embark on a journey without your laptop (and maybe even wifi!). If you’re trying to escape the craziness that job searching can bring, this may be the way to do it! However, if you can’t afford to miss those phone calls – don’t.
4: Can you use vacation as a networking opportunity?
An interesting take on a vacation – as long as your family or friends don’t mind – would be utilizing it as a networking opportunity, especially if you’re searching for jobs all over the country or world! Attend a conference, meet other professionals in your industry for lunch – if you’re up for it, simply tell everyone you meet that you’re job searching! You never know who you may meet.
All in all, embarking on an extravagant vacation in the midst of your job search may not be the best idea, but hey – you know your situation best! It is possible to mesh your vacation with your search, but we definitely recommend communicating your goals and expectations with those you journey with. Plus, even if you can’t venture across the world, two days at the beach surely qualifies as a vacation for us – it’s just enough time to relax without stressing about it.
Also published on Medium.