Hiatt Career Center

Hi Vacation, it’s me. I want to come back!

Hiatt's assistant director of marketing and communications, Kristin, has these tips on how to get back to work after vacation.

Did you happen to catch the latest Ben Affleck photo sweeping the internet prior to the turn of the New Year? It emulates how many of us feel after having some much-needed time off from work and then having to get back into the office saddle (or in this case, the hard dining room chair in my house). 

Ben Affleck

Whether you were lucky enough to have had time off during the holidays, taken a vacation or had an extended winter break from college (wink, wink), settling back into your work life can be an adjustment. 

As we take our fingers off the snooze button, here are some of my own personal tips, or in this case, the R’s, to help you settle back into work after some time away. 

Restart Your Routine

You may have slept in a lot during your vacation time, so finding a rhythm again can be a little tough on the first day back at it. Be sure to wake up at your normal time and prepare to take on the day as you would prior to being away. Turn on your computer, start your coffee and review your checklist. 

Reframe Your Brain

Your body might be saying ‘let’s go’ but your brain is like ‘nope.’ Take a moment before you log on to play your favorite podcast or, as a good friend recommended to me, shuffle your playlist and see what song comes on. By doing so, you’ll put your mind in a better headspace to ease back in and take on the day.

Refrain from Emails

What’s the first thing we do when we return? Open up email and see that horrid number of messages we missed while we were out. My advice is to put email checking on hold as you settle in. Anything that was sent to you while you were out can obviously wait because it was sent knowing there wouldn’t be an immediate response. Focus on what you want to accomplish that day and the rest of the week. Write it down as a checklist so you’ll have a plan in place and priorities in check. 

Reconfigure the Inbox

I used to always check my inbox with the messages sent prior to me leaving first and the most recent last. This didn’t always pan out in my favor because I noticed most of the recent emails were solving issues/addressing topics from those first ones. So, reconfigure your inbox and track what has been solved and what is still pending. Those email chains can bring you so much needed closure on outstanding asks. 


You probably woke up a lot earlier and worked a bit harder than you have in the previous days now that you are back to work. Consider settling in and going to bed earlier to be more refreshed the next day. If you are well-rested, the better adjusted you will be for the working days to come.