OK gang—you have just a handful of days left to take off for your “holiday” vacation. If I know you, the overachiever you are, I bet you didn’t take enough vacation time throughout 2018 and you are now faced with “use-or-lose” time.
To make sure you actually take time off in 2019, here are some telltale signs it is time to turn off the laptop, lock up those confidential files, and flip the “Doctor Is In” sign to “Closed.” And away…we…go. (I heart you, Billy Eichner.)
- Solving “PizzaGate” Becomes Mission Critical. Simply stated, you are so overwhelmed with partnering on hard-core items like M&A strategy, compensation changes, defining what the hell “culture” includes, and understanding why your top performers are leaving that you welcome/relish/pine for the opportunity to figure out who stole Gladys’s homemade ragu from the fridge. You may even decide one day to “hide” Frank’s lean cuisine just for entertainment.
- You have nothing to say (Let that sink in). If HR has nothing to say you are witnessing a Defcon Level 1 need for a vacation. Yes, the HR silence may feel like a Christmas miracle to some, but don’t be fooled, the silence is a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing. A meltdown is ’bout to go down.
- You Fall Back In Love With The Fax Machine. When someone asks you “how you would like to receive the new contract proposal?” there is only one response you can think of – “Fax.” Or if you’re really fancy you say “facsimile, please”. Electro-shock therapy seems more humane than receiving one more email. Plus, having to walk two floors up to the one office fax machine is a GREAT excuse to get away from your desk to, you guessed it, get away from your email.
- The “Mother’s Room” Becomes Nirvana. You decide to hang in the Mother’s room just for some quiet. Of course, this will NOT work if there is actually a mother in the room. That wouldn’t work out so well for you, friend.
And last, but not least:
- You Choose Not To Drink At the Office Holiday Party. Because at this point, drinking just doesn’t make the crazy go away.
These are just a few of the many, many other signs indicating you are in need of a vacation. Make a pact in 2019 to get vacation time on the books pro-actively so you can enjoy your email, Frank can eat his Lean Cuisine in peace, and you can get back to being the awesome, advice-giving, booty-kicking, HR changemaker your company gave you the great opportunity to be.
Dawn Burke, VP of Talent Consulting at Kinetix and founder/advisor for Dawn Burke HR, is an HR leader, speaker, and writer specializing in new HR practices, engagement and workplace culture. Her HR/recruiting/leadership career has spanned the last 20 years, with past gigs including a foundational role as VP of People for Birmingham, AL’s award-winning technology company, Daxko (And yes, Kris Dunn and Dawn are making Bham the HR capital of the world! Who knew?). You can also check her out at DawnHBurke.com and a variety of other interesting places. Google her, it’ll keep you posted on what she is up to.
Most importantly: She is addicted to TV, knows most of the lyrics to Hamilton and West Side Story, loves to cry at movies (check out Cinema Paradiso for a cry fest!), thinks wine, a wheel of Brie and Milk Duds make a well-balanced dinner, and sings in her car daily. Her husband and cat are the Yin to her Yang.