We are sadly living in a country where chasing the “American Dream” has taken precedence over all else and this has somehow translated to “we must work 24/7”.
We have been brainwashed into believing the negative stigma surrounding using our paid time off…
“My boss will be upset if I ask for time off”
“My company will think I’m not dedicated if I don’t come in on Thursday”
“I only get 7 days’ worth of paid time off, I can’t afford to use it”
“I won’t get this promotion if I go on vacation”
When and how we bought into this mindset is beyond our control, but it is paramount that we undo this conditioning. People forget that if we were to die tomorrow, our companies would have a replacement ready by the end of the week.
Why are we giving up our happiness to make CEO’s and huge corporations money? It doesn’t make sense, so f*** work and use your paid time off.
No company or person worth working for will be upset if we decide to take a day or two to de-stress; taking a break is important for our mental, emotional, and physical health, and there is nothing wrong with putting ourselves first every once in a while. If you are a good employee, your work will speak for itself and your department or office will make due until you get back.
The work will always be there, but your time, health, and memories won’t.
When companies are trying to fill jobs and positions, a huge part of their selling point is what they can offer their employees – health insurance, 401k, and paid time off.
If a company really didn’t expect or want people to have the option to have a paid vacation, they wouldn’t be offering it to their employees. When you go through the on-boarding process, your boss, the HR department, and everyone else is well aware of the benefits available to you as an employee and someone who is contributing to the success of the company. There is absolutely no reason that anyone should feel anxious about asking for some time off when it is something that was offered from day 1.
As long as you plan ahead, you should be able to offset the amount of work coming in while you are out so that you don’t come back to a mountain of paperwork. Not only would this type of planning and organization allow you to take that much needed vacation at multiple points throughout the year, but it would also prove to your boss that you are a great employee who can handle the work load while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Having limited paid time off is also no reason not to use it to plan a nice vacation for yourself. Generally, companies that offer PTO also recognize federal holidays as paid holidays.
Paid holidays are the perfect opportunities to maximize your PTO – for example, Labor Day always falls on a Monday and is generally a paid holiday. If you take time off on Tuesday and Wednesday, then you would be able to plan a vacation spanning from Saturday – Wednesday (5 days, 4 nights) and only have to use 2 days of vacation.
Numerous studies show that many Americans simply don’t use their PTO. Please don’t be one of them.