How a Month-long Holiday Can Change Your Career

I don’t usually write on the ‘soft’ topics like productivity but this time I wanted to share my experience of having a month-long holiday. I’m not going to tell you the story about finding myself in India during Holi Festival of Color or some other mysterious ceremony. Although, I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to attend one. I’m talking about having time just for yourself no matter where it is, when the only thing you have to worry about is where to go for a lunch or which beach to visit.

Week 1 – Sickness

Your body screams ‘Enough!’ ‘I want to cool down. Let me cool down.’ It’s a time when you lie on your bed doing nothing, eating unhealthy food, feeling sick, and wondering how weak you are. (Sounds like a rehab.) I got my sick leave and decided I needed to stay at home for a couple of days. It was like my body went on strike and it was completely out of control.

It’s a time when you lie on your bed doing nothing, eating unhealthy food, feeling sick, and wondering how weak you are. (Sounds like a rehab.)

 

Week 2 – Party Hard

After every storm, there is a rainbow. You start feeling stronger and think you need to unwind. Then you start going to all the fancy (or less fancy) parties. This is like the second youth you get after working for several years in a startup, corporation, or a mix of both. You start thinking about all the crazy things you didn’t do because you were too preoccupied with discovering the new solutions or way to optimize your work and bring more money to the company. For around seven days you feel like a kid in a candy store. You can do anything you like because the time of getting back to work seems so f***** faraway. You meet all kinds of people, start being more open-minded, and you want to catch the moment.

For around seven days you feel like a kid in a candy store.

 

Week 3 – Health & Wellness

After around seven days of partying, you start thinking about healthy living and sports as you probably didn’t have enough time to think about it at work. And so, you go for a trip. This can be either camping or going to a five-star hotel somewhere in the South. Long walks and contact with nature makes you think of summer holidays with parents, first crushes, and how carefree your life used to be. (Of corse, we didn’t realize that when our life actually was carefree.) This is a time you spend outdoors thinking about how narrow-minded you became during the past couple of years and how open-minded you used to be in the past. It’s a contemplation time, kind of a ‘hipppie’ moment when you say a lot of thank you, happy, and grateful.

This is a time you spend outdoors thinking about how narrow-minded you became during the past couple of years and how open-minded you used to be in the past.

Week 4 – Don’t Panic

The last week of your freedom. You don’t realize that at first but the sole thought of going back to that mad world absolutely terrifies you. You start doing things you didn’t do during the past three weeks. You go and see your family, meet old friends, eat slow food, and think of how your life will change when you go back to work. You may even make some ‘back to work’ resolutions.

Week 0 – Back to Work

You think you have everything under control. With your new attitude to life you start wearing low-key clothes to work. You’re trying to stay away from narrow-minded thinking and the rat race full of everyday routine that is killing your individual mind. First days are hard. You have difficulties getting up early, wondering why the hell you need to get up so early. Then you experience the rat race again. Who runs faster, who has better ideas, faster reactions, and harder butt. It starts to turn you on again… And then you realize you’re the same. Old habits die hard. But you’re stronger now. You got a new perspective. Your thinking went too far to get back to the old routine. You start thinking of things you used to do during your month-long holiday and try to do some of them after work or during weekends. Three weeks is a time you need to develop a habit. Being yourself is the best habit you can develop.

Old habits die hard. (…) Three weeks is a time you need to develop a habit. Being yourself is the best habit you can develop.

Ok, but where is my career part in it? Having this totally new perspective, you become more assertive, more productive, less stressed, and more likable for your colleagues. This might be a time for you to change your job or look for new opportunities. Last but not least, you win back your own life. Suddenly, you find more time for your family and friends. You might even find some fun in cooking and start bringing your own food to work. You never know till you try.