To Vacation or Not to Vacation When in a Job Search

Posted by Nancy Gober

should you vacation while job searchingIt’s that time of year. Friends, families, colleagues, it seems everyone is going on vacation. What about you? The idea may be tempting, especially if those friends, family members, and colleagues are pressuring you to take some time off.

It may be even more tempting if you’ve been working at your search for several months, and are feeling discouraged if you have not yet landed a new job. Or you may have recently started your search and are wondering if taking a week or two away could really hurt. In either case, there are things to consider besides you take a vacation, so answer the three questions below before you make your decision.

Question 1:  To Vacation or Not To Vacation?

It’s summer time, and people take vacations

  • People in companies that you want to meet and network with take vacations.
  • People delay your interview by 2 or 3 weeks because they are on vacation.
  • People want to hire you but the hiring manager is — you guessed it — on vacation!

What do you as a job seeker do? Join the club and take a vacation yourself, or keep on plugging away at your search?

Like the December holiday season, summer is a tricky time of year for job seekers. It can be a challenge to keep your search moving forward when the people inside companies you need to meet are unavailable.

Some job seekers believe it makes sense to stop searching for awhile, and start back up again in the fall. However there is a cost to doing so. Job seekers who take time away lose the advantage that job seekers who keep going gain.

The Competitive Advantage

Many of your competitors will choose to slow or stop their search entirely for a while, unknowingly making for fewer people competing for positions. So keep on networking, applying, and attending. While it may take a little longer to secure those networking meetings or interviews, by staying in the game, the advantage is yours!

Question 2:  The REAL Co$t of that Summer Vacation?

It gets frustrating when it seems everyone you need and try to meet is unavailable.

So, what’s a job seeker to do? Might as well take a week off and go on vacation too. After all, it’s only a week! Right?

Wrong. Because that week off will actually cost you three. Yes, that’s three weeks away from your search.  And, probably more!

  1. First, there is the week (if not more) before your vacation that you spend getting ready to go on vacation.
  2. Second, there is the week of your vacation.
  3. Third, there is the week after your vacation which you spend trying to get back into the swing of hunting for a new job.

What happens during that 3-week period that slows your search?

  1. You fall out of the productive habits that you painstakingly put into place to organize your job-search-business day.
  2. You begin to fall off your network’s radar screen.
  3. Your pipeline begins to dry up.
  4. The biggest cost of all – lost opportunities!

The biggest cost of time away can be real money that you don’t get the opportunity to earn due to missed leads and opportunities while you’re away. Time away slows your search:

  • Hinders your networking
  • Takes you out of the geographic vicinity if an unexpected interview happens to pop up
  • Feeding your pipeline, the “life line” to finding that next opportunity, slows or stops altogether. Remember, you generate leads to jobs and people by your daily job search activity.

So before planning that trip, consider the real cost of time away and decide if time away is worth the cost.

Question 3:  Vacationing Anyway? Be Smart About It!

Still not convinced? Determined to take a vacation anyway? Then be smart about it.

If you are determined to take your summer vacation while you are still searching for a job, put into place plans to keep your job search moving forward from a distance. Here’s how:

Research the area you’ll be visiting. Identify prospective employers, staffing firms, and network contacts who can be helpful to you in providing leads to opportunities. In either the geographic area of your vacation or back home in your home town via their long-distance contacts. Contact them ahead of time and try to set appointments while you’re in their geographic area.

Research the area you’ll be visiting. Identify prospective employers, and network contacts who can be helpful to you in providing leads to opportunities in the geographic area of your vacation. It’s a small world — they may also be aware of opportunities or good prospective networking contacts back in your own hometown that they can suggest or even connect you with. Contact these prospective employers and networks contacts ahead of time and try to set appointments for when you’re in their geographic area.

This works! I have a client who did just this while vacationing. He found a job in his own hometown, but was able to relocate to the area he had vacationed in (a preferred area) when an opportunity arose two years later!

Keep your search going back home. Advise hot employment prospects that you will be out of the area for x period of time, and attempt to step up your interviews for the week after you return. Who knows, you might get an offer using this technique, before you vacation…which is the best way to vacation!

Network from afar. With today’s technology, you can network via your computer and phone from whatever corner of the earth you’re on. So, set aside a part of each vacation day — maybe an hour or two in the early or late hours of the day — to stay in touch and connected.

The Best Time to Vacation

We’ve all experienced it – that freedom you feel during the time between finishing one job and starting the next.

Choice 1: Your job search is your job right now. And, you can experience that same sense of freedom if you delay that vacation until after you have received your next job offer but before you’ve begun your new job. And you’ll have a lot to celebrate!

Choice 2:  But, if you prefer not to delay, or have travel plans that commit you to travel mid-job search, be smart about advance planning so that your search is still viable when you return from your vacation.

The choice is yours. Whatever you decide, plan and take pains to keep your search momentum moving forward. Either way, have a great vacation!

Nancy GoberNancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment. She’s also been a popular resume reviewer at our Cleared Job Fairs. You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected]. Follow Nancy on Twitter @AfterJobClub.


  • Nancy Gober

    Nancy Gober is a career strategist who has helped thousands of job seekers find employment, and the author of “Jobs Are Not Found Sitting at the Computer.” You may reach Nancy via email at [email protected].

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 5:38 pm

One thought on “To Vacation or Not to Vacation When in a Job Search”

  1. Got one of my best jobs while on vacation! Wife was concern and worried in 2012 when I came off of one contract and did not have another one lined-up.

    While sitting by the pool in Cancun all week long, the wife was concern that I was losing opportunities…until the call came in. The Interviewer asked what I was up too and if I was still interested in his offer position. I let him know that I was laying by the pool in Cancun but that I would be available the following week. The interviewer congratulated me and stated that I should have a Corona to celebrate! Afterwards, I joked with the wife that I had one of my best job interviews!!

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