Career Resources and Coaching for Smart Women

How To Find Your Passion On Vacation (Seriously – Try This)

 How to find your passion on vacation

When was the last time you took a great vacation?

(no, seriously!)

The warm sun on your shoulders…

The beautiful surroundings…

The feeling of relaxation and rest…

The total sense of dread when you think about going back to work….

No wait  – that last one happens after you get back and realize that not much in your work-life has changed.

A lot of us use our vacations as an escape from the daily grind.  But – what if your next vacation could actually be an escape PLAN?

Here’s the thing: most of us use vacations to unplug and NOT think about work, and that can have its benefits.  But why not use some of that time to help you identify your next great career move as well?

Vacations are interesting, because they have a couple of great passion-finding benefits:

  1. They get you out of your normal routine, and help your brain shake up how it thinks.
  2. They help you get exposed to new ideas and experiences.
  3. They give you a chance to relax and focus on what really matters to you.

Getting away can do a lot for your perspective, and remind you of what is really important.  Getting away from the daily grind can also finally give you a chance to THINK and reflect on what you love (or think you love). And getting relaxed helps with all of the above. This is how you get clarity on your next step.

So how do you make your vacation work for YOU?

Step one: Set an intention for your vacation.  And by “intention,” I don’t mean that you have to come up with something grand and life-changing, I just mean that you think about how you want to use the time to help your career.

Your intention could be anything from “relax and learn” to “write every day” to “get out of my comfort zone at least 4 times.”

Step two:  Set aside some time every day to think about what you’ve learned or observed about yourself as you follow your intention.

Ideally you might also write these observations down, but it’s most important just to see what you notice.  Maybe you learn that you need more structure in your day in order to be happy. Maybe you learn that pushing yourself outside your comfort zone wasn’t as hard as you thought, or maybe you realize that you have a real knack for scuba-diving and you want to understand more about the business-side of it…because who knows, maybe this is a new career?

Step three: Be honest with yourself.  
If you know you hate your job but you can’t seem to make a change.  Write down all of the reasons why.  Maybe it’s something to do with a mortgage payment, or a deep-seated fear of change.  Maybe it’s a worry about learning something new or that you don’t have the right skills for the field you are thinking about.  Maybe it’s something else.

Take a moment and put step 2 together with step 3 and see how things change when you compare what you know about yourself (and what you love) and what you are afraid of doing.  You’d be surprised at how some of those fears might lessen.

Step four: Bring a bit of the vacation home with you.  
I’m not asking you to go on vacation, have an epiphany, and suddenly come home and quit your job and sail into the sunset (though, I’ll applaud you if you do that. Go you!).  But take what you learned on the vacation and recreate a bit of that at home so you can start to make a career transition.

Remember what you love

I lived in Italy for a few weeks while I was still consulting and realized that the Italian life-style was what I wanted. I really REALLY wanted to work hours that made sense to me, I wanted to take long breaks in the middle of the  day, and I wanted to feel comfortable and relaxed and live in a place with a lot of sunshine…and I wanted to help people with their work.  When I got home, I started researching careers that would give me that same feeling I had in Italy, and began, one-by-one, to explore them.

I also started enjoying a quiet glass of prosecco on my deck at night, because…well, fun!

That trip was the beginning of my journey to where I am today, which is the owner of a successful career coaching business.  It’s amazing what a little vacation can do for your career!

Need some help with your passion? Grab my 6 Simple Steps to Work That Makes You Happy right …. here: CLICK.