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Use Your Vacation Time Wisely

Dona DeZube | Monster Finance Careers Expert

July 06, 2010

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Before You Go

If you want to make sure your career ship sails smoothly while you’re on vacation, batten down the hatches before you go. “A thoughtful employee thinks through all aspects of the job before leaving,” Meleliat says. “Consider possible situations and make sure a game plan is in place to deal with any complications. Fellow team members should know about the upcoming vacation well in advance.” Appoint temporary project leads to ensure work continues.

Are You Really Gone?

You should obviously leave an emergency contact phone number with your boss, but how do you make sure coworkers don’t call you indiscriminately? And what if your boss asks you to wear your beeper in Bermuda? It’s up to you to set the rules, Pasley-Stuart says. “Establish what your boundaries are, and if your employer is not willing to work within those boundaries, I would suggest you not work there,” she says.

Should you check voice mail and email? “As a person who used to bring a computer on vacations to check email, I can answer this question with an emphatic no,”Meleliat says. “The vacation should truly be a break from one’s work.” If your boss insists you check in, set limits. You might start by agreeing to check your voice mail once during the week and to respond only if there’s something urgent.

On the other hand, if you think you’re so irreplaceable that a project or your company can’t survive without you, you probably suffer from an overinflated view of your importance. Think of your vacation as an opportunity for shared learning and cross-training on critical projects. On the flip side, if there’s a project you’ve always wanted to work on, offering to cover for a vacationing coworker can be a great way to demonstrate your abilities.

And if you’re faced with the prospect of working for a boss who says there’s to be no vacation at all, perhaps you need to search for a more vacation-friendly workplace.

This article was originally published on Monster

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