Hello SOTGC Community,
As summer gets closer and the famous San Diego “June Gloom” draws to an end, there is one thing that I have decided to try to get better at. Taking time to get away from the stress and hectic pace of my work week. When I first started in my current industry, I was working 70 hours a week and refused to take a vacation for the first two years. I was so worried that if I took my finger off the pulse, I’d either loose the small foothold I had gained, or I’d relax so much that I’d lose my edge.
At one point in the middle of my second year, my boss/mentor ordered me to take at least a weekend vacation to relax and recharge. Being able to make snap judgments, formulate a revised plan, and execute accordingly is tantamount to being on top of the game. If you think multi tasking is a fun hobby, ask a salesperson what they are thinking and if you don’t get a 5 minute litany of their account rundown…then it means they don’t have the time to stop and discuss what they’re working on. Jeremy replied that if I didn’t take a break and relax (IE shut off my phone and not check emails for at least a weekend) that I’d go nuts and end up having a physical or mental breakdown.
Being the coach-able mentee that I am, I took his advice and went on a three-day weekend vacation. I can say it was the best thing I’ve ever done in terms of emotional recharging, and since then I make it a point to take at least two or three weekend vacations a year.
One of my best friends, Carina, has traveled all over the world and continues to do so. On occasion she will take an amazing trip by herself and meet people along the way. When I asked her why she does this, especially when we all have demanding careers and her vacations are multi week-long events, she said that she has a limited time to go everywhere she wants to see before she settles down and has a family. Being in sales, you don’t get “vacation time.” The general principle is that if you aren’t “in the field” selling, you aren’t making money, yet your quota still grows year after year. However the more I thought about what Carina had said, the more I realized that there is NO “good time” to take time off. There will always be deadlines, quotas, product launches, etc, and if we don’t take advantage of the time we have now….we may never get it back.
Currently, one of my best friends is leaving for France for a few months to recharge her batteries after 4 years of post graduate studies followed up by 6 years of corporate law with “sweat shop conditions” (I’m pretty sure she was allowed bathroom breaks). Carina just booked her trip to Bali, Kacee is headed to Mexico, and I’m scanning through available dates to take another trip to Cancun.
Last weekend I took a “mini vacation” and headed north for a night. I turned my phone and emails off and told very few people where they could find me. I holed myself up in my hotel room, ordered room service, read a book, and enjoyed simply relaxing and having peace and quiet. Saturday morning I had more energy and excitement for work/the weekend/and life in general than I had in months. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just need a break from your routine, pick a new place that you’ve wanted to visit for awhile…and make it happen.
Marney Reid is a Marketing Program Manager for a global industry leader in medical device. She is also the Founder of Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling. She has nine years of sales experience in male dominated industries and is transcending the Glass Ceiling by using her authentic value proposition as a competitive advantage.