27 Nov

Office Holidays: How to use a break to plan a career

Posted by George Hoadley

December is a week away and your inbox is already full of all the office party invites before you break for holidays. It usually is a time of excitement – with holiday planning taking up equal time as your office work. A vacation is good – in fact, studies have shown it to reduce stress and rejuvenate your brain to function better. But, does taking a break from office mean a break from your career planning too?


While office work is the routine milestones you realize daily, career is the broad view of where those steps are taking you in the longer run. It makes sense that the best time to glance over your career is when you are on a break from your daily routine. Find out how:

1. Plan Your Office Holidays in Advance

 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

The quote is as true for work as it is for vacations. Once you are definite about the office holiday dates, plan in advance. ‘Having fun’ is even more fun when you dedicate yourself to it fully.

2. Plan what you want to do during the vacations:

Break your vacation into the activities that will take up your time. Once done, try finding which of those activities are dear to you and which can be done away with to free up more time to yourself. Fill those slots with stuff you’re not able to execute in a normal working week. Below are some examples:

Learn a New Skill

You are the best judge of your career. Enlist what skills can help you climb the ladder and devote some time during office holidays to developing those skills.

Read a new book

There’s always that one book you bought on your mentor’s recommendation. Now’s the time to sit down and find it for yourself why. Great leaders all have one thing in common – they devote themselves to reading everyday.

Travel a new place

The world’s a book – and you would not like to be stuck at page one. While you are on a vacation, travel a place you have never been before. It will teach you to be humble, expose you to customs you haven’t known before and expand your view of the world around you. This makes the decision maker in you a more composed, confident individual.

3. Set time for yourself and your family:

Enjoying the break with family? Devote time to them. Listen intently to how they make decisions. What are the things important to them. Often, we learn a lot from people we live than through any third-party experience we read or come to know about.

If travelling alone, go to places that challenge you. The best career decisions are often the toughest. How you behave in a place that is alien in its values and cultures to what you are used to adds a dimension to your personality. These experiences rub off on a lot of decisions we take thereupon.

4. Network

Like you, your peers are also on office holidays. Get in touch with them. Inquire the skills they have added to their repertoire. Learn how they carry out their day-to-day activities. This’ll be the best assessment you’ll have not only of your current position in your career growth, but also of the path you are on.

Office holidays are a great time to assess your career goals and work on them too. If you are a job seeker, you can optimize your resume according to the job postings you are planning on applying once the holidays are over. If you are currently employed, use this time to visualize where you see yourself next year and what steps you should take to arrive there.


Topics: career planning

George Hoadley

George brings 11 years of experience in management to his role as the Branch Manager of Design Group Staffing in Vancouver. With a LinkedIn Recruiter Certification, his areas of expertise are construction management, engineering, project management, estimating, and operations. He has experience in both contact placement and direct recruitment for top Canadian and international firms. George’s unique and diverse background allows him to assist and provide superior service to companies and prospects alike. Monday to Friday, George is a boardroom warrior who leaves no stone unturned in hunting down the top talent in the Western Canadian construction and engineering markets. On the weekend, though, he trades his oxfords in for trail shoes and travels throughout Canada and the U.S. competing in the Spartan Race OCR series.

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