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Golden Guide Career Advice: Take and Enjoy Time Off

Lydia Lazar

woman wearing hat facing away from camera looking at the ocean

Golden Tip No. 26: Don’t Be a Robot

Golden Guide Career Advice is a series from the AMA in partnership with Lydia Lazar, author of Dean Lazar’s Golden Guide: Pragmatic Career Advice for Smart Young People. A new tip in the series will be posted each Tuesday—all tips are available here.

Do you have a career question? Contact Lazar at deardeanlazar@gmail.com—the answer may appear in a future post.

You are not a robot. Only robots work 24/7. Take vacations, spend time with friends. No one can or should always be on, whether networking or seeking their next opportunity.

One of the most effective ways to build your personal resilience is to put time and effort into sustaining your friendships and relationships with family. Not only is it great to have people to talk to and go out with, but you will strengthen your own interpersonal skills and empathic awareness as you share life with others.

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It’s too easy to spend a few days in a row online at work, and then online at home (alone). Be sure to schedule real dates where you and your friends can generate some lasting memories together. Your friends and family really do care about you, and if you neglect “IRL” human relationships, there will be real costs in the long run.

Also, be aware of the danger of spending too much time worrying about professional advancement and recognition, and missing the moments of bliss when you can look around and sense that everything is truly OK.   Things in your life may not be exactly as you pictured them, but if you are able to step away from your own expectations for a moment, you will usually find that you have created something that is rich and rewarding for the moment.

And as the Zen masters of the East and the West tell us, the moment is all we really have. So be mindful at work and at play: Live the moments of your life as fully as you can and you will create a full and memorable life for yourself.

Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash.


Dean Lazar's Golden Guide

For more career tips, read Dean Lazar’s Golden Guide: Pragmatic Career Advice for Smart Young People, available on Amazon and at your local bookstore. Do you have a career question? Contact Lazar at deardeanlazar@gmail.com—the answer may appear in a future post.

Lydia Lazar is founder and president of LHL Consulting. She is the former associate dean for recruitment and career services at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and previously, dean of international law and policy overseeing international student admissions (LLM) at Chicago-Kent College of Law.