As many of us prepare to wrap things up at work or school
and take a little – or longer break, there are ways to make the "re-entry” in
January a little less painful. Jamie Peretz,
founder of 2MyCareer.com, has some
pre-holiday advice on how to avoid the "Holiday Hangover” syndrome – Cheers!
I think that both my personal experience at mastering this
skill, as well as my mentoring of clients and colleagues, has taught me the
three crucial ingredients to the special recipe of how to not lose momentum and
leap back into productivity after an extended holiday! I doled out quite a bit
of this advice in my position as an executive recruiter at Korn Ferry
International. I now use very similar rules to instill the right habits for
productivity in the students I mentor through 2MyCareer, to help them navigate
more successfully through college and on to worthwhile careers.
v The first step - which I am divulging even though it won’t gain me any popularity points – is to arrive
back home not on the night before it's back to work or school - but on the day
before the day before! So, if Monday is back to work you really need to be home
by Saturday after a 10+ day vacation. This
will give you time to unpack, refocus, get organized for what lies ahead and
then, so you can return truly refreshed, relax at home for a short while before
diving back into the fray.
Of course, the other major reason to stick religiously to this rule is that if your plane or train is delayed, or traffic snarls ensue, you will still be back on the appointed day. Do you really want to be that person at the airport counter, frantically demanding that you be re-routed so that you can make it to that important Monday morning appointment– and be told to get back in line because everyone is in the same dire situation that you are? This is avoidable. Leave a cushion of extra time. My family learned this the hard way on a return trip to NY from Aspen – snowed in, and of course everyone had to be back for important meetings or class the next morning. There was nothing to be done, and the panic that ensued essentially ruined that Rocky Mountain High we had been enjoying! Think about your return from vacation the way you do about any important transition in your life, and don’t cut things too close – it’s never worth it. Give the vacation/work transition the kind of time and attention it really needs.
v The second ingredient for success may seem obvious, but it really works. Make a list (it's holiday time, so in a nod to the season - check it twice!) of your first several days of tasks - and then make absolutely sure that you do whatever necessary to complete all of those tasks flawlessly. No mistakes. Demonstrate to your colleagues, clients or professors that you are BACK and ready to GO !!
v My third and final tip - and again - don't shoot the messenger: When colleagues ask how your vacation was, summarize the best part ( it was fun to hit the slopes, or the sun and water were fantastically refreshing) and then add " I missed everyone - it's great to be back ! What developments did I miss?” Let them know that your place with them is your priority and that you are fully engaged and present, and haven’t left your mind back on the beach or the mountain.
JAMIE PERETZ is founder of 2MyCareer, a college to career coaching service to assist ambitious college students and recent graduates in realizing the careers they have worked toward. Candidates receive consultation designed to give them the knowledge and skills required to turn their academic and other achievements into meaningful employment. Prior to founding 2MyCareer, Jamie was a managing director at Korn Ferry International, the global leader in executive recruitment and talent consulting. Previously, she held executive positions in investment banking at Credit Suisse and JP Morgan, and was an attorney with Pillsbury Winthrop. Peretz holds a BA from Princeton University, and MBA from NYU and a JD from Georgetown University.
We hope you enjoy – and perhaps employ – some of this advice and most of all, wish you all a joyful, and relaxing holiday season.