With any luck, anyone reading this working in hospitality jobs will get a lot out of what they do day to day. But that doesn't mean it's not important to ensure that your work isn't taking over your life too much. Apart from anything else, if you're making the most of down-time, you could well find you do better at work. Here are some ideas for getting the balance right.
Know when to turn extra work down
Taking on a lot of extra shifts is a great way to rack up plenty of experience. It also looks good on your CV if you can show that you put yourself forward for more work than you need to. But even if you're always happy to help, remember that doing a lot of extra work may be stopping you from making the most of your downtime.
There are lots of things we can do outside of work – sport, seeing our friends, spending time with the family – that simply are not possible in work, and which enrich our lives. Sometimes it's wise to think twice if you're in the habit of always saying yes to new work.
Have a hobby
Hobbies are another great CV booster, and the good thing about having one outside of work, is that it can give you an automatic, go-to way to spend your downtime pleasantly, even if you haven't made any special plans.
That weekly five-a-side game can be a great, fail-safe way to stop yourself heading home after a shift and doing nothing. Although for regular weekly events that happen at certain times, you may have to check whether the timing fits in with shift work.
Even hobbies you don't need other people for, such as gardening or learning a new language, can be great for giving you something very different to do outside of work.
Work near home or boost your commute
Working near home is often much more satisfying than commuting, which can add hours to the working day (hours you pay for, in fact!). If you can't find work close to home, consider how you could boost your commute, and make it more satisfying. Would the fitness benefits of cycling to work help you? Or could you look into spending more of your train commute reading about new things, rather than simply looking at Facebook again?
Use your holidays
It's an obvious point that you'll want to ensure you book time off and make use of all the days of leave you're allocated. Despite this, some people do end up not using all the time off they are allowed in a year.
As well as being careful about booking time off regularly, try and use it in a way that you feel will really refresh you. If you can't afford to go away, why not look into the free things that are going on in your own area?