Summer vacation: Isn’t it great? Except it is not what it used to be. We are either expected by our employers and clients to somehow remain accessible and productive 24/7 while we’re “off,” or we put that pressure on ourselves. Or we’re in the middle of a job search and don’t want to lose precious momentum or appear not to be serious.
Taking needed vacation time in order to relax and recharge can be especially difficult for those working in IT. A Computerworld piece that is filled with seriously depressing anecdotes about IT folks working through vacation cites a 2014 TEKsystems survey that “found that 47% of senior IT professionals are expected to be available 24×7 while on vacation (up from 44% in 2013), compared to 18% of entry- to mid-level IT professionals (a decrease from 20% in 2013).”
Here are ideas from IT Business Edge and elsewhere for how to manage the expectations, stress, extra duties and communication challenges that your wonderful vacation now brings.
Several CIOs and C-level execs recently gave their suggestions for how to prepare for vacation to IT Business Edge. These tips are good for IT directors and managers, too:
Set up automated control of PC power management. This one will come in handy even after vacation is over.
Before you go, make sure that both you and your second-in-command know what software is in use on both an individual and enterprise-wide level, in case any unexpected audits occur.
See the full slideshow, “Six Tips for CIOs Preparing for Vacation,” for more suggestions.
Actively on the job hunt? Writing at CIO.com, Sharon Florentine observes that “for most people, summer’s the perfect time to relax, take a vacation and operate at a more leisurely pace than during the rest of the year. But if you’re a job-seeker, you can’t afford to put your search on the back burner.” So how do we manage that? In addition to job search advice that works year-round, she delves into using vacation time to update your resume, network with existing and new contacts, and practice your interviewing skills when interacting with others. And don’t forget to stay visible to contacts and prospective employers on social media.
And finally, Trend Micro Vice President, Technology and Solutions, JD Sherry, takes a humorous look at vacation planning in the Internet age. Remember National Lampoon’s Vacation? Well, what would Clark do? (WWDC?), wonders Sherry, if he were trying to prepare for his epic vacation this summer?
Sherry’s list of Clark’s Top 9 Vacation Planning Faux Pas:
- He’s still running Windows XP without patches.
- His email address is [email protected]
- Receives emails from Eddie with links to “funny” pictures.
- Clicks on links from Eddie.
- Clicks on links in emails offering “Cheap Deals.”
- All his web site research is done on Internet Explorer 6.
- He thinks security software is unnecessary, like car undercoating.
- Vacation planning takes forever because his computer is “slow.”
- Uses the same username and password for all logins.
It’s not all that funny, though, since Sherry has “personally had friends fall victim to these types of scams and attacks while designing their dream vacation.” Even if you think you’d never make these types of mistakes, don’t be so distracted by the novelty of vacation time that you abandon safe Internet practices, and don’t let your coworkers and friends do so, either. Sherry closes with tips on wisely and safely planning your vacation this summer – and avoiding cyber threats year-round.
Now go request those vacation days – summer’s end is nearing.
Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+