5 good reasons to take your earned vacation

Most jobs offer full time employees vacation days. This might be offered right off as in .. “here’s your salary and you get 2 weeks off per year” or “here’s your salary and you earn 1 paid vacation day for every month worked” or similar scenarios. This is pretty standard. What is surprising is the amount of pride employees show when declaring that they never take their vacation days. Unlike our European counterparts, roughly half of American workers do not take their earned vacation time. One reason often stated is that they fear losing their job.

5 great reasons to take your earned vacation days:

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You earned it:

Duh! Your vacation is part of your work package. You earned the time off. Basically, you are leaving money on the table for the company to take back at the end of the year. A lot of people have an often misguided outlook and devotion to their employers. This is mostly one way. You can be sure that if the company feels you are no longer needed or can find ways to outsource your job etc. there would be no hesitation on their part whatsoever, you just become collateral damage. Take what you are owed, and without guilt. A lot of employers also have a “use it or lose it” policy meaning that you don’t get paid out for the vacation days not taken nor does it get rolled over to the next year.

Vacations helps you to recharge:

It is a no-brainer that lots of jobs come with stress. Meeting deadlines, improving sales, managing a team and so on requires a lot of mental energy, resulting in stress, anxiety and a whole lot of other maladies. Stepping back from the environment allows you to recharge your batteries and come back more energized and with focus, leading to a new appreciation for your job and your team mates.

Detrimental to all workers in the long run:

When employers offer paid time off that are not being taken, it’s ultimately going to be detrimental to employees in the long run. It might be a slow decline, but will happen. Instead of 2 weeks being offered in the work package, it will go down to 1 and then just a few days with the tired excuse of “nobody takes them anyway”. When l started working for my last company, we started with 3 weeks paid vacation, which did go down to 2 weeks for workers that came on in later years.

You’re not as important as you think you are:

I hate to break it to you, but you don’t matter much in the grand scheme. Believe it or not, the company won’t collapse without you at the helm 24/7.  Someone will step in and replace you and no one will bat an eyelash. No one is irreplaceable unfortunately. Therefore you should take your time off, turn the phone off and let your assistants etc. handle the problems that might arise in your absence. Who knows, they might even have a deeper appreciation for what you do. A raise? A promotion? Who knows!

Quality time with family:

This is all good. Your family will appreciate getting to actually spend uninterrupted time with you. Go for the long walks you always wanted. Go play ball with your kid without some excuse. Get the massage or have a spa day as a gift to yourself.. Grab your Kindle or novel and head for the park. Take the vacation you always dreamed of. Spend time with your spouse or parents. Do whatever you want to do, or do nothing at all, but it’s your choice and will make you happy.

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Do you take your earned vacation days without guilt?