Home and away

Why is it that when I’m so busy at home, I cannot wait to have a break and recharge the batteries – but, when I’m here with nothing to do but relax, I keep thinking of all the work I need to do when I am back?

In some ways, I think I am fortunate as I like being at home and my “normal” life.  Looking around at so many people on holiday, it is clear that this is their highlight of the year.  The two weeks when they aren’t in the grind of worry about bills, routine jobs and general grimble.

No wonder you hear so many people imagine what it would be like to live their holiday dream.  This is something that I grew up with – but then it was holidaymakers from the UK industrial towns enjoying their break in Great Yarmouth.  Our life at the seaside seemed as exotic and remote from reality to them as a villa in Bulgaria does to many today.

It was great to live at the seaside, but it wasn’t easy.  My family worked very hard to maintain the visitors’ dreams – and I can see the same is true here.  Yes, the sunshine is great and the way of life seems more relaxed than in the UK.  But the grass is always greener.

Actually, the grass will be greener in my garden at home with all the ongoing rain.  It will also be knee-height unless my dad has kindly mowed it for me, as well as dog-walking, mending the kitchen tap, and all the other jobs my parents lovingly do for me on their “holiday” in the UK.  They’ll be glad to go back to their life in France for a rest…

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

7 thoughts on “Home and away”

  1. Despite what I said, I am enjoying reading about your trip to Bulgaria, I would love to visit it myself. I remember a presentation about the country which said they had a much higher proporion of doctors to the UK, how proud they are to achieve academic excellence, and that it is also a country which promotes medical tourism because they have so many doctors, ie plastic surgery, as well as denistry.

    I shall look forward to more posts from Bulgaria.

  2. How do you incorporate R & R when working from home? I’ve totally neglected the gym since my return from Greece. I was planning to go first thing this morning, then this evening, and now I’ve seen the pile of ironing, and I’m blogging instead…

  3. You’ve been teaching the CIPR syllabus, so perhaps haven’t come across this – but while talking to the students in Bulgaria have you picked up any suggestions from them as to what they think make up the basket of skills that is PR?
    I’m a little familiar with the PR syllabus in Spain, where they still put a deal of emphasis on teaching protocol – probably because their society is still a little bit more formal than ours and these things matter.
    Given that none of us exactly agree what’s ‘PR’ and what isn’t, it’d be interesting to know how it varies from country to country and if there’s a Bulgarian take on what goes in the basket?
    Was there anything you covered that surprised them? Was there anything you didn’t cover that they expected to get?

  4. Ellee – on R&R, I take balance in different ways – whether that is walking the dogs or choosing to read through student drafts in the garden. I suppose in some ways you could say that it is hard to switch off, but on the other hand, I get to have time-out when it suits me.

  5. Caroline,

    Good question – particularly as the idea of “basket of skills” is top of my mind with some thoughts for MIPAA and ideas about career management in PR more widely.

    From discussions with the students and Nelly who runs the consultancy responsible for offering the course, PR seems to operate mainly as press agentry and event management. So primarily PR involves tactical skills involved in writing, media relations, presentation and organisation.

    They aren’t very surprised by what we cover in the syllabus but like here also, they often see a gap between the theories and practice. The students seemed to be familiar with what would be covered and didn’t mention any expectations we didn’t address. They have lots of practical examples of issues and crisis that we discussed and it is evident that many areas are lacking in development of strategic skills in PR management and practice.

    I’ll ask Nelly more about a “skills basket” as she and I did discuss recruitment and the challenges of finding and developing good PR people.

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