9 Ways to Use A Day Off To Develop Your Career

9 Ways to Use A Day Off To Develop Your Career

By Mark Swartz


When is a vacation day not a day off? When you use it to improve your career prospects. Consider it an investment in “the future success of You.”


There are many ways to leverage that holiday professionally. From updating your resume to unplugging from work, the choices are varied and the benefits are proven.


1.  Think about upcoming career opportunities and challenges.

Take some non-rushed time to manage your professional life proactively. Assess future opportunities and threats. Then evaluate how best to apply your strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise work could feel like an endless cycle of putting out fires.


2.  Gain added insight into your industry or occupation.

Smart employees anticipate developments in their field. They learn about the latest trends, changes in technology, new regulations...info that helps them stay ahead of the game. Maybe they do industry research with free news 2.0 tools. Or attend a conference, tradeshow or seminar.


3.  Network with someone face-to-face.

So much of today’s networking is done virtually. That can be a real time-saver. But to build a relationship with key people, nothing beats meeting them in person. Schedule a coffee or lunch with those who can help you advance your livelihood. The bond (and impression) you make could open unexpected doors more than just an online connection.


4.  Get inspired by TED talks.

Among other things to do on a day off: if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to grow, enjoy this curated list of TED Talks. Hear about The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get, and The Happy Secret To Better Work. View them on your phone, tablet or laptop. At 20 minutes each – and free – they’re well worth watching.


5.   Update your resume and accomplishments.

Looking for a career change? You’ll need to modernise your resume, especially if it hasn’t been touched since landing that role. In a few hours you can add recent accomplishments and adjust dates/titles. Here’s an easy method for updating your resume. When it’s done, add the changes to you work-related social media profiles too. One never knows when they might be spotted as a possible candidate. Plus now with over 60 new templates and samples you can choose from, updating your resume has never been easier.


6.  Read a book.

There’s probably a stack of books (or list of e-books) you’ve been dying to get at. Some might deal with your profession. Others may be written by successful business people. But committing to reading can be tough when dealing with so many other demands. Put aside half a day to make headway into at least one of these books. Once started, the rest can be consumed less overwhelmingly whenever time permits.


7.  Research job opportunities.

Something you don’t want to get caught doing at work for is looking at other potential jobs. Try it instead on a day off using your personal electronics. Check out the latest job offerings on Monster.ca. How do they compare to your current position? Are there gaps in your education, credentials, skills or experience? If so revisit item 1 above and consider how to resolve the issues.


8.  Tap into your career intuition.

Instinct can play a vital role in improving your prospects. Yet the workplace, with its constant demands and interruptions, can interfere with looking inward. On a vacation day there’s opportunity for some quiet. That’s ideal for listening carefully to hunches and impressions. Don’t ignore the inner voice that is urging you on. To maintain focus, here are 10 ways to unplug from work productively.


9.  Recover from burnout.

What if your job has been hectic and you’re feeling exhausted? It may be best to just find ways to relax at home. Put aside self-improvement. Giving your mind a rest is a step in dealing with occupational burnout. When you return to your place of employment you’ll be refreshed.


Being clear headed may well let you see your future with a fresh perspective. Good luck!