I’m extremely fortunate to have worked in several cities and countries, gaining experiences that have, in part, shaped who I am, how I behave and how I view my work. My demonstrated talents include toilet cleaning and garbage collecting at a Summer Camp in the US, silver service of meals to foreign dignitaries in England, and various recruitment jobs in Ireland, Canada and Australia. I’ve also travelled quite a bit, both domestically and internationally and every time I go away it reminds me how important it is to “get out of town”.
This year I’ve been away from home, both overseas and interstate, then returned to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm. So, what is it about getting away that can reignite the passion for your job? Here are my observations.
Hard work is everywhere
When we get a bit stuck in a rut at work it is easy to be convinced that we have it tougher than everyone else and we are unlucky. If only our work was as fulfilling and lucrative as what we thought it would be at this stage of our life. You are not alone if you’ve had this thought.
But you know what? Hard work is everywhere and everyone feels a sense of monotony from time to time. Each of my jobs and my conversations with fellow employees along with countless interviews with job seekers over the years, have shown me that nobody is 100% engaged with their job 100% of the time. We all experience a rut, so a holiday or a visit to another office location can do wonders.
When you get away and visit another destination you are often out of your comfort zone in unfamiliar surroundings. This means you face challenges you don’t at home, so your problem-solving skills kick in. People are pretty good at solving problems and are often energised in the process because our inherent need to learn comes to the fore. Getting away can satiate our enquiring minds. It could be navigating your way around a big city, attempting to speak the local language, meeting people from a different office or just finding the best burger place in town… exploring new territory can be invigorating.
Working in a crappy (literally) job helps you appreciate a good job! Believe me, cleaning the toilets at a Summer Camp in the US, full of feeding frenzied teenagers leaves you with a distorted sense of smell and an appreciation to the guy who invented the humble toilet plunger. It also builds resilience, a useful tool in any job, to help you push through the tougher days. If it wasn’t for this working holiday experience, I wouldn’t have the same understanding of what a bad day at work means… for the record, a bad day at Summer Camp was overflowing toilets complete with all the trimmings!
There is nothing like going away and speaking to people from other places that opens your eyes to other perspectives. It allows you to view the world from another point of view, challenging your paradigm of thinking and broadening your awareness. Applying this when you get back home and back to work can breathe new life into your job.
The other thing I’ve noticed about getting away is the appreciation you have when you return to work. As creatures who crave safety, belongingness, and esteem (if Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is true), returning to work after a trip away can provide the familiar routine, satisfy our social needs and give us the opportunity to deliver outcomes and earn rewards. Going away and seeing how others live and work, may allow us to return home and appreciate what we’ve got.
Have you been out of town lately? Maybe it’s time for a trip!
General Manager, Recruitment