Friday, July 30, 2010

Time for Vacation!!!

Today is the last day of classes before we break for a three-week vacation. Excitement and the feeling of "I'can't-care'less-anymore" are palpable in the air. In the 41 C degree Madrid conditions, even cold beer does not save the brain from melting and, to be frank with you, studying has become a somewhat "too much" - the break is needed and welcome.

It is critical to balance work and leisure, but what is the proportion and how do we know the correct timing for that? In the article Economics of Happiness, the main idea is clear: wellbeing costs (and brings!) money, time and effort. Nobody wants unhappy, worn off and tired-brain employees, and we are welcoming those who rock up to work with a fresh tan, no bags under the eyes and a spring in their walk. Even when I was in my heaviest recruiting stages, irrespective of how desperate I was to get a person in, I would always advise him or her to take a week or so off, before starting the new job. I strongly believe that the return on this tactic is multi-fold.

Think about it in terms of psychological impact. We get over personal issues much easier than those we encounter in a professional or academic environment. Another Gallup article talks about career wellbeing and it compares loss of a job to a loss of a spouse:
One of the more encouraging findings was that, even in the face of some of life's most tragic events like the death of a spouse, after a few years, people do recover to the same level of wellbeing they had before their spouse passed away. But this was not the case for those who were unemployed for a prolonged period of time -- particularly not for men. Our wellbeing actually recovers more rapidly from the death of a spouse than it does from a sustained period of unemployment.
 There is a reason for people to have coffee breaks, there is a reson for people to have weekends and there is a reason to go on vacation. That´s exactly what I am going to do, so see you in a couple of weeks... will be refreshed and full of energy!

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