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Advice / Career Paths / Training & Development

3 Boss-Approved Trips That’ll Help You Break Out of Your Work Rut (and Don't Involve Taking Vacation Days)

Everyone has moments when they feel stuck in a rut at work. You get caught up in your day-to-day routines and your to-do lists. Nothing feels innovative, maybe nothing even feels that exciting. So, you dig for inspiration to get your creativity going again. You scour your favorite blogs and the Instagram accounts that remind you of what you care about.

But, it’s just not cutting it anymore. Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to get offline.

You need a change of scenery. You need a new experience. You need an adventure to re-spark that fire and motivate you.

It is time to get out of your head, out of your office, and out of your current daily reality. And, here’s the great news: I’m not telling you that you better have two weeks vacation saved up so that you can go on a yoga retreat to Thailand. (Though, I’m sure that’d work wonders too.)

Here are three trips you can take to find inspiration, that’ll all fit into your current work routines without too much effort.

1. The Trip That Gets You Excited About Your Job Again

Your manager wants to support you in your growth, but she’s got a lot on her plate. She may not know that your work routine has become a bit stale—and it’s hard for to guess the perfect solution for you to be re-inspired. So be the catalyst to get that conversation going by finding yourself a good old fashioned professional development opportunity.

Because you can drive change at work, but you’ll need to ask.

What’s something you want to learn, experience, or explore that will help you grow in your career? Who are the industry role models you want to meet? Maybe you want to plan an off-site retreat so you can feel more connected to your team, attend a workshop to freshen up your skills, or travel to offices in a different city to get another perspective on the company.

Don’t be shy about approaching your manager with professional development opportunities and inquiring about trips. Obviously make sure your request is in in-line with your company’s budget—the smaller the company, the more likely your boss would prefer an afternoon retreat at a local park, rather than renting out a house hours away. Many companies really are willing to support you if you can come to the table with a well thought out request.

2. The Solo Trip

Maybe your obstacle isn’t finding the opportunities, maybe it’s that you’re afraid to go alone. You see a workshop, conference, or event that looks awesome, but you ignore it, because you don’t want go by yourself. Maybe you’re shy and you think you won’t have anyone to talk to. Maybe it scares you a bit. Well, it’s time to Face that fear: There are rewarding experiences waiting on the other side of your ability to say yes to the unknown.

One trick is to tell yourself that that learning whatever the workshop excerpt says you will is just one of your goals. You’ll also get to practice letting go of what anyone else might think, and immersing yourself with new people and experiences solely to come together and learn something you didn’t know before. You’ll surprise yourself, you’ll possibly make friends, and if nothing else, you’ll still learn that skill you were eyeing.

Whether or not you gain expertise directly relevant to your day-to-day work or just for fun, you’ll stretch yourself way outside of your comfort zone. And that right there is a valuable learning experience and a good way to shake things up.

What lights you up? Start there.

3.The Sunrise Trip

When you’re pouring all of your energy into work, you can miss out on a lot. There’s so much more to your day than what happens between nine and five, but it can be so tiring that when you get home, all you want to do is put your feet up and pour a glass of wine. (Not that I blame you for that!)

I know it sounds a little earthy, but sometimes what you need to do is see a sunrise to get inspired again. The cool part is that you can plan a small adventure—this week! Pack up your breakfast and go for walk. Ideally, go somewhere gorgeous if you can, or at least, take your cup of coffee somewhere with a view. Watch the sun come up and remind yourself that you’re a badass and can get up with the sunrise, and that you’re in charge of your life and can make time for cool stuff whenever you want. Finding this time for yourself will help you feel less resentful of your day job. (And, I’ll bet you find a you get a lot more day before your workday even starts than you usually do!)

You don’t have to surrender to your rut. You can create small or big trips to spark your fire. Look at where you are right now in your life and ask yourself, “Where is there opportunity?” “How do I want to grow?” Whether you choose a professional development opportunity, flying solo to a workshop, or going on a sunrise trip, you can find a way to fit in an excursion that’ll make your work (and work routines) feel fresh again.

Then, go do it because finding a way to enjoy what you do again is a worthy investment.

Photo of backpack courtesy of Shutterstock.