Do You Consider Quitting Your Job Right After a Vacation?
By Joe Issid
Monster Contributing Writer
A recent Monster poll revealed that 54% of Canadians experience a phenomenon known as Sunday Night Blues or, in other words, a feeling of dread and anxiety towards the upcoming work week. (The same poll actually revealed that 72% of US respondents who have the Sunday Night Blues claim that it is “really bad”). If so many of us feel this way after 2 days away from the office, it surely stands to reason that this feeling intensifies the longer we are actually away, say on vacation.
Of course, most of us reflexively joke about how rough it is returning to the office after a couple of weeks in, say, the Seychelles, but is there actually truth in this jest? Personally, I have always found it particularly difficult to return to certain jobs after a vacation and always assumed this was entirely normal. So, is it normal to think along these lines or is this indicative of a greater underlying problem?
A common thought
According to a Monster survey, 70% of us actually begin searching for a new job after returning from a vacation. Clearly, this is a very common thought process that so many of us experience following a brief escape from the office. Given these numbers, it is clear that we are not alone in thinking along these lines and that we should not feel shy about discussing them among our peers. So, the question begs: why do so many of us feel this way?
Living the fantasy
Is it safe to assume those who suffer the most returning to work after a vacation are those who have been able to most successfully disconnect from the office while away? It can be incredibly jarring to be sipping daiquiris on the beach on a Sunday afternoon and be back in your cold cubicle on Monday morning. As such, the gulf that exists between the vacation ideal and the workday reality can be expansive. And this is surely what causes many people to have very strong negative feelings towards their jobs upon their return. Often, it isn’t the actual job that is the real problem; the fact that we have to resume a responsible and rigid routine can be a heavy burden.
The grass is greener
In the midst of your first Monday morning meeting – a truly soul-crushing affair – your mind may begin to wander at how much better your life would be if you were simply working elsewhere. As they say, familiarity can breed contempt and you are probably feeling far more contemptuous after a long absence. Returning to something incredibly familiar can appear to be stale and uninspiring – especially if you are returning from a particularly adventurous or meaningful trip.
Being on vacation – and, hopefully, disconnected from work – gives you a rare opportunity to truly reflect on your life and possibly affords you the time to evaluate your longer-term goals. Being away from your daily routine allows you the space to reflect on your life – both personal and professional. Sometimes, distance from your day-to-day life can provide you with some much-needed motivation to change things that you otherwise may not have noticed.
Personally, I have been known to remain in close communication with my office when I am on vacation. In fact, I actually came in to the office last week on my day off to attend a meeting (much to the chagrin of my wife). For some, being unable to disconnect from the office while on vacation can be a warning sign that things need to change. If you are returning from a 2-week holiday having spent a great deal of it working, it can be extremely demotivating and tiring. A vacation is meant to be spent relaxing and recovering. If you aren’t able to take some time for yourself, maybe you really do need to find something new.