Expert advice: Summer holidays in the shadow of corona

This year the summer holidays will be different for many of us, but as always, it is important to use them to recharge your batteries in the best possible way. Read career counsellor Jeanette Svendsen‘s pieces of advice.

It's been a strange year.

Most of us have become acquainted with working from home to a greater or lesser extent since Denmark closed down in March last year. Since then, there has been another shutdown, which lasted most of the winter and left many of us exhausted in our professional as well as our private life.

That is why it is more important than ever that we take the summer holiday and get the break that we so deserve. However, how do you ensure that you get the much-needed time off so you are mentally refreshed when you return to your job again after the summer holidays?

Agree on a clear framework

It's hard to fully relax during the holidays if you've left your desk full of half-finished tasks and loose ends.

You can avoid this by getting an overview of your tasks, so you know what you need to achieve before the holiday and what you can leave until you are back again.

It is essential that you coordinate your plan with your manager so you have a realistic schedule for solving your tasks.

This can be especially important this year, when many feel they have to work even harder than usual because they are unsure of the prospects for the economy and their jobs.

Therefore, find out what tasks you are measured on and when you are successful as an employee. If you are employed as a knowledge worker without knowing when you have reached your performance goals, you may end up breaking your back without knowing if you are even doing the right thing.

Avoid being online - or agree when you are

You should preferably put your work phone and laptop in a drawer that you do not open until the summer holidays are over.

The summer holidays are your best opportunity to get new energy and motivation, but that is unlikely to happen if your thoughts are constantly revolving around work.

It may only take two minutes to check your emails, but the consequence is that your work remains in your consciousness, thereby removing attention from your family, or stealing energy from your time off.

Unfortunately, every second Dane works during the holidays, and for almost every third it is a requirement or an expectation that they are available.

If you cannot cut the connection completely, at least make sure you make clear agreements about when you are online.

It could be that you only check emails for a certain period of time in the morning, or that you do not check emails, but that your colleagues can call if a crisis is starting to build up.

Fill your holidays with good experiences

This is true every year, but this summer it may be particularly important that you fill your holiday with activities that give you new energy.

It differs from person to person whether one recuperates best by lying in a beach chair or by going on an active holiday. However, it is true for most people that they benefit from physical activity if they usually sit in front of a computer on a daily basis.

The summer holidays are also an opportunity for you to prioritise your family and hobbies. It is important because it has a value in itself, but also because it strengthens your personal foundation and well-being, so that you stand stronger if your employer is hit by the corona crisis, or if you worry that it will.

Book a career counselling session

As a graduate and member of IDA, you can book a session with a career counsellor and discuss your career hopes and plans. 

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