Expert says taking time off can be a great career move by ‘working’ it
New York, NY – June 13, 2011 – You know lots of people without jobs, and others whose job situations are precarious, at best. Should you leave the office for that long-planned summer vacation, or play it safe and stick around?
“Leave the job and hit the beach,” says career expert and corporate navigator Amanda Mitchell.
The founder of Our Corporate Life, which provides career strategies for corporations and individuals, says taking a vacation shows you’re confident enough in your performance and your position to get away from it all.
“Not only do you need to restore yourself and reconnect with family and friends, you also want to show your manager and clients you’re not waiting around for them. Scarcity creates demand, if you do it right.”
Inevitably while you’re off enjoying yourself, the question “what do you do?” will come up. Mitchell recommends using that opportunity to your advantage. “Answer by providing your unique point-of-difference and immediately turn the question back to questioner, asking them, ‘What do you do?'”
Mitchell says by showing interest in others and thinking about how you can help them — suggest a book, an idea, see if you have common friends, etc. — they’ll remember you helped them and you’ll cultivate potential customers or clients.
“They’ll inevitably ask more about your skills and assets because you haven’t labeled yourself, which gives you a chance to ‘dimensionalize’ what makes you valuable, without getting into a conversation about the bad economy, bad job market, and other negative news.”
An event planner, for example, shouldn’t respond to a “What do you do?” question by saying, “I’m an event planner.”
Says Mitchell: “What if you said, ‘I capture the soul of an event and translate it visually. How about you—what do you do?’ I guarantee they’ll say, ‘Tell me more.’ Your answer will involve you pulling out the most relevant (to them) example from your past, which for an event planner might be an innovative program to reconnect a military family with the people they’d met throughout their many moves.”
Mitchell says these exchanges give you a chance to engage on a personal level and weave in what you love doing without labeling yourself using a title that can often evoke a stereotype. “Say ‘event planner,’ and the other person files you away in that mental bucket and moves on.”
Mitchell’s other vacation suggestion: stay away from ‘downer’ people. “You will end up down the rabbit hole with them and lose all the benefits of taking a vacation in the first place.”
About Amanda Mitchell and Our Corporate Life
Amanda Mitchell is the founder of Our Corporate Life LLC (www.ourcorporatelife.com), a company that offers a new system for reducing unnecessary workplace suffering caused by the organizational, interpersonal, and ethical issues of our time. Our Corporate Life is founded on the belief that adhering to core human values and achieving business success are always compatible, a belief crystallized during her corporate career each time she witnessed a company sacrifice profitability by wasting human capital. Subscribe to the Our Corporate Life® biweekly ezine (www.ourcorporatelife.com/subscribe) for tips on how you can thrive in the workplace.