Why Every IT Leader Needs a Summer Vacation

A laptop in front of a  view of a beach with two yellow umbrellas.

Getting time away from the office is necessary for everyone, and a summer vacation can be particularly special because it’s the midpoint of the year. It’s an opportunity to step back, relax and recharge for the second half of the year.

I recently returned from my own vacation, and while my first priority was spending time with my family and having fun, I couldn’t help but consider what the rest of the year would bring back at the office. It was a good time to evaluate my own remaining business goals, as well as my team's. 

Sometimes when away from the office, we’re given the freedom to step back and think creatively about our jobs. In quiet moments while reading that book that’s been on your list for months or lounging by the pool, you may be like me and consider shifting priorities as you enter the second half of the year. Or maybe you think about the need to focus on particular initiatives in your business to achieve your 2016 objectives.

Is your team ready for the next six months?

As top managers know, your success is largely impacted by the people you surround yourself with, so one place to reset could be your hiring strategy. Midyear is a great time to assess the overall strength and depth of your staff. You may have open positions that you’re struggling to fill or are chronically open from turnover, or maybe you have rapidly approaching deadlines without the IT pros needed to finish the jobs. Consider upcoming project needs and how your IT job postings could change, taking a realistic view of the duties, expectations and compensation levels you’re offering to determine if they properly align.

Get a sense of what the hiring market looks like right now. Robert Half Technology’s Hiring Index for the second half of 2016 can be a good barometer of how competitive the IT hiring market will be through the end of the year.  In some cities, like Minneapolis and Indianapolis, CIO’s are projecting a double digit increase in hiring. Check out this video highlighting other competitive hiring markets and what IT skills are most in demand.




Recalibrate your approach

It may not be feasible to shut down your email entirely, but looking for ways to limit time away to maybe once a day can certainly make it more manageable. I’ve also found summer vacations are a great time to invest in yourself with some good business reading that can help you recalibrate your approach to solving the work problems at hand. (I recently ran across a really good list of career books perfect for summer reading.)

Being in the people business for so many years I’ve seen the fallout from managers who don’t fully take advantage of their time off. A summer break can benefit both your business and career by giving you a chance to come back with a fresh outlook and revitalized focus. So find a way to get some valuable time away from the office this summer if at all possible, even if it’s just an extended weekend, and use it as an opportunity to not only recharge your batteries but also reset your priorities.

Thank you.

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