Hit the Ground Running After a Vacation

One of the best times to begin a job search is after a long and satisfying vacation. You’re well rested, in a good mood and hopeful about the future. And unlike the post-vacation blues that can affect those coming back to existing jobs, you’re often recharged and ready to get back to work.

But if you’ve been on an extended vacation, it might take some work to get back into a job-search mindset. Here are some ideas to help you refocus without losing that post vacation high.

Get Back Into a Routine
After a long vacation, it helps to get back into a routine as soon as possible. Time away can help you refocus your priorities and regain confidence in your abilities. The advantage of returning to a job search after a vacation is that you can approach it with a fresh attitude.

Review your resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn page and assess whether they’re still serving you well. Take an inventory of your skills and decide how to best utilize them to achieve your goals.

Organize your day into productive segments that includes job search listings, scheduling interviews and networking. Set goals and make plans to achieve them. And don’t forget to include exercise as an integral part of your day.

While it’s important to get back into a routine, you want to avoid getting back into a “routine” feeling. The whole purpose of a vacation is to shake off the cobwebs that have been obscuring your vision of what’s possible. Use that post-vacation optimism to energize your job search.

Stay Up To Date
Unless you work in certain jobs, it’s unlikely you were keeping up with the latest news and trends affecting your industry while on vacation. But getting back in touch after you return is one of the best ways to get motivated again.

There are some pretty entertaining and informative blogs out there covering every industry from advertising to high tech to finance. Reading them not only keeps you entertained and up to date, it also makes you feel like an insider again.

Reconnect With Your Network
If you’re like most people these days, you probably never really disconnected with anybody while on vacation. As a matter fact, you might have connected with more people than usual. Those Facebook posts of you standing in front of the Louvre or lying on a sandy beach or even eating greasy burgers at a truck stop near Bakersfield seem to get noticed and commented on the most.

If you’ve been posting regularly, you’re still on other people’s radars, even if you’ve been thousands of miles away. Plus, when you return you’re in an excellent position to share interesting stories and compare notes with others.

Take advantage of the summer social scene while it’s still in full swing. Those barbeques, weddings, picnics and parties are some of the best places to network in a natural way. Rather than having to go the direct route about asking for help, you can be subtle about your plans and let it come up organically.

Plus it sounds way better to say you’re looking for a job after you’ve been out of the country, rather than simply, I’m looking for a job.

Find That Sweet Spot
There’s actually a perfect moment, while the summer is starting to wind down but before the official fall hiring season begins, when your chances of finding a job are pretty good. Many hiring managers are returning from their vacations in a good mood and are starting to turn their attention to their needs for the fall.

Now is the best time to connect with employers and get noticed before the competition heats up. Not only will employers have more time to devote to applicants, they’ll probably be more genial and less jaded.

Harness Your New Optimism
The excitement and sense of possibility that a vacation imparts infuses other aspects of our lives. A person who exudes optimism and a sense of adventure is irresistible to others, including hiring managers. After all a positive attitude is not only contagious, it’s also productive.

Try to tap into that post-vacation glow as long as possible by posting remembrances of your trip, such as photos and souvenirs, where you can see them. Take an emotional snapshot of how you feel now and try to revisit it before going on interviews or simply networking with friends and colleagues. You’ll be surprised at how even a little dose of vacation can go a long way.

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Nicole Cavazos writes about the job market for ZipRecruiter.

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