Back to school

The sun literally setting on your holiday.

The sun literally setting on your holiday.

It seems that a lot of people are experiencing that ‘back to school’ feeling now that the summer is coming to an end. A story about post-holiday blues was apparently one of the most shared stories on the BBC news website this week, with a list of return-to-work afflictions ranging from the apocalyptic commuter train to having to wear socks again.

September still has that sense of dread about it as we trudge back to work after a few days or weeks of freedom over the summer (or whatever time of year you go on holiday). The over-stuffed inbox waiting for you, along with the tasks you thought you’d delegated to others while you were away which now swamp you precisely when you’re least inclined to do anything.

Coming back to work after a long break can also make you realise all at once the things that you dislike about your current job. You start thinking that perhaps you should be doing something different, that you definitely prefer being outside to sitting at a desk, that you were built for much more enlightening things…

I’ve read in the past that statistically more people apply for new jobs on Tuesdays. The reason being that we search for new vacancies online over the weekend, come into work on a Monday only to be reminded of all the things we dislike about our jobs, go home on a Monday to write the application, and then submit it on Tuesday. In this way, coming back to work after a long holiday can feel like one long Monday morning. Which makes September feel like Tuesday when you really should do something to make the situation better.

But you should resist any knee-jerk reaction to apply for a new job simply because the current one is a big disappointment after returning from holiday.

Try to remember what it is that you enjoy about your current role, rather than focusing on what you don’t. And try to reward yourself with small treats to keep yourself going (in my case the Korean deli round the corner from my office). You could also use this time as a wake-up call to do something about the bits you don’t enjoy about your job, set yourself new targets or look for more interesting projects or training to get involved in. The ‘back-to-school’ period could be your impetus to try something new.

(But if by October every day still feels like Monday morning, you could read this post for some tips on the best way to leave your job).


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