We all sit patiently in our little cubicles longing for a week off or two to de-stress. You might even have a picture of a pristine white beach tacked on your memo board for inspiration. I know I do, and I find myself looking at it on particularly hectic days.
We want to go on that vacation to get away from work. We want to escape to a place where no boss is hounding us about deadlines and no nosy co-workers to deal with. It’s all about sun, fun, and cocktails day in and day out. Bliss.
At the end of my last vacation, I found myself dreading going back to work. I thought this was normal. I just assumed that going on vacation meant disappearing for a while and essentially just shirking my responsibilities.
Yes, it is a time to unwind and recharge, but I didn’t know that it’s supposed to boost your productivity. This happened to me all the time. I get back from vacation, and I’m sluggish and depressed, thinking about the wonderful place I’d left behind. I’m not present. My mind is still away.
Then it dawned on me that I should not have been feeling this way. I should have been feeling refreshed and ready to take on my responsibilities again, maybe even with a little extra zing from all the stimulating stuff I had done while I was away.
That way, we’ll go back to work feeling more capable than ever.
A job is not just a way to make money. It’s also an opportunity for self-improvement and making new connections. It should be a place where it’s not all grind and doesn’t have more meaningful payoffs than a decent salary.
If you find yourself dealing with the blues when your vacation time ends, then you might want to consider that your job is not the right one for you.
Here are some things to consider if you’re on the fence about whether or not your job is the right fit.
Do You Feel Fulfilled?
It’s very likely that the reason you can’t wait to get off from work every day is that you’re not being challenged enough. I’ll bet all the money in my wallet that you’re overqualified for your job or you don’t feel like you’re actually helping people out with what you do.
We spend a staggering 1/3 of our life at work. Do you really want to waste away all that time for something that doesn’t really matter to you?
Of course, we can’t all have our dream job. But if yours is starting to feel pointless, it might be time to look for one that is more suited to your skills and more focused towards what you want to contribute as a person.
Are You Yourself at Work?
One of the myths that I hear a lot is that in order to have a healthy mindset, you have to separate your personal life and your work. I very quickly found out that this is near impossible.
While you might act more professional at work, the ‘you‘ at the office and the ‘you‘ at home are always going to be the same person. It’s very unhealthy to compartmentalize your life. This is a one-way ticket to Stressville.
You’re not meant to turn into a zombie once your bum hits your desk chair. Yes, any work is draining. But you want to come tired, knowing that you did your best and you did not compromise who you are. That’s the kind of tired that makes you sleep better at night.
You want to have a job that is closest to the field you’re most interested in, even if that means letting go of that high-paying corporate job where you’re underutilized and condescended to on the daily.
Trust me, it’s better for you in the long run.
Are You Happy?
This is the simplest, yet the most important question you should ask yourself. If the only good part of your year is your vacation time, then that’s a very telling sign that you don’t have the right job.
Your happiness shouldn’t depend on the time you get to be away from work. You should be able to find happiness all year round.
Since I’m guessing that you’re not a part of the 1% and you can’t be on vacation permanently, the only solution to this is finding a job that can keep you happy and motivated.
This means getting a job where you feel useful, necessary and taken care of. A job isn’t supposed to feel like you’re underwater and the only time you can resurface and breathe is when you go on a vacation. It doesn’t work like that.
Sure, we all need a breather every once in a while, but always make sure it’s always for the right reasons.