Americans care a great deal about their careers. We’re known for working hard and dedicating ourselves to improving our resumes. Studies show that Americans care deeply about their jobs, and most of us are willing to do a lot to make sure that we’re delivering our best work.
Unfortunately, that often includes skipping out on vacation. People in other countries find it hard to believe just how infrequently Americans take vacations. Americans work longer hours than people in many other places, too, and Americans tend not to be so great at managing their work-life balance.
So when you consider joining the more than 100 million tourists who flock to Florida every year, you may come to a typically American conclusion — that you can’t do that. That you don’t have time. That you have to focus on work. That you’ll only feel guilty down there in the Florida sun, thinking about the emails that are going unanswered and the career opportunities that may be passing you by.
But here’s the thing — a Florida vacation could actually be good for your career. Here’s why.
It will lower your stress levels and help you avoid burnout
Stress is dangerous. It can do everything from destroy our sleep patterns to make us more susceptible to disease. And it can trigger a condition that destroys our productivity: burnout.
Burnout is not something you want to deal with. It will be a real problem for your productivity and for your career. But you can fight back by taking a break and resting your mind — and by enjoying sunshine and exercise, which will improve your mental health.
Florida is a great place to do all of this. When you’re resting on a beach in Jupiter, you’re improving your mental health. When you’re kayaking West Palm Beach, you’re improving your mental and physical health. A mental health break and an active time in Florida can fend off burnout, helping you dodge a major career disaster.
And it’s not just about avoiding burnout. Even on a subtler level, a trip to Florida could help you get more out of your work — which brings us to our next section.
It will make you more creative and more productive when you return
You’ve probably heard about the studies, even if you’ve been doing your best to ignore them. But the facts are the facts, even if you choose not to take them into account. And the facts say this: Vacations are good for productivity.
In Europe, where workers are better about using their vacation time, a well-rested workforce has proven to be more productive. Studies of workers here and abroad show a boost in productivity after a great vacation — as well as boosts in happiness and creativity.
It’s no exaggeration to say that you will be making yourself a better worker by taking a break. That has to be good for your career.
It will give you time to think about your career and plan next steps
When you’re down in Florida sipping sugary drinks and relaxing on the beach, you probably shouldn’t think about the mundane details of your job. Try not to think about memos and emails and whether the coffee is being made. This is your time.
You can and should, however, think about the big picture and how you factor into it. Having a little distance between you and your office and a little time to think could help you see things you haven’t considered before. Maybe you’ll realize what you need to do to succeed in your office’s culture. Maybe you’ll realize you want to change careers or go back to school for a a liberal arts degree. Maybe you’ll suddenly come up with a solution to a problem that has been costing your business money.
Lower stress levels can help us think clearly. Your life won’t stop while you’re on vacation, but you might find a better way to look at your situation while you’re enjoying the Florida sun. It’s just one more reason that a nice Florida trip could actually be a wise investment in your future career.