I recently read the findings of a survey conducted by Project: Time Off, and I was surprised to find that millennial women are taking less paid time off than male counterparts. I found this to be strange because millennial women are usually the biggest supporters of paid time off and the benefits it has on employees.
According to the survey, three main barriers getting in the way of millennial women using their vacation, not including the feeling that employers do not highly regard vacation time are as follows:
- The fear of the amount of work that has piled up.
- The feeling that no one else can do the job.
- The desire to show complete dedication to one’s job.
Now, as a millennial woman myself, I can understand and relate to wanting to show how committed you are to the job and being anxious about the amount of work you may have piled on your desk upon return. With that said, however, I love my time off, and I refuse to let anything or anyone get in the way of me taking my time off and here’s why you should too.
Work martyrs DO NOT get promoted, receive a raise or recognition any more than vacationers do.
Being a workaholic is no fun. People who take little or no time off feel more stressed and miserable than those who do.
There will always be work to be done whether you take no time off, a day off, or a week off so, why not take that week off?
There is always someone who can pick up the slack while you are on vacation.
Some of you right now reading this already know all the reasons why you should be taking time off so, you don’t need me to tell you how a break from work can be rejuvenating and relaxing or how it can increase work ethic or moral. Your issue is you don’t know how to get around those barriers and stop letting them get in the way of your getaway time. Well, I am going to tell you how you can get around those issues and take time off guilt and worry free.
1. Be Consistent in Quality
If you are one of the young women, who struggle with the idea of taking time off because you want to show that you are committed to the company in which you work you must understand that not taking vacation time does not show commitment or dedication. It is your work ethic and the consistent quality of the work that you produce that shows how committed you are to the job.
Someone with a great work ethic who can consistently be relied on to produce great work on time, all the time will stand out over someone who has a poor work ethic, who is always late and undependable. If you are that go-to person, when you take your time off people won’t judge you, they will encourage you, because they will believe without a doubt that you deserve it.
Taking time off shows dedication to yourself. Of course, you will have that one person who will always think negatively of you, but that is someone you just ignore because they probably have a shitty attitude at work and spend more time judging everyone else than working. One way to help reinforce that dedication is shown through consistent quality not deciding to take time off is to change what you tell yourself.
Tell yourself daily “ I show dedication to my job by producing consistent quality work. I show dedication to myself by taking time off so I can continue to provide quality.”
If you make it a part of your routine, you will begin to relieve yourself of the guilt and the notion that you have to choose between showing dedication or taking time off.
2. Be Proactive and Plan
The two biggest barriers to millennial women taking time off are the fear of how much work will be waiting when vacation ends and the feeling of being the only one who can do the job. I have decided to tackle the two together because there is one solution to them both, planning.
Planning is the difference between returning to a few assignments over mountains of paperwork and projects. It is what allows you to take and enjoy your vacation guilt free and worry free especially if you are truly the only one in your whole business you can do the job. ( I recommend training someone else if you are the sole specialist.)
To properly plan your vacation time follow these 4 easy steps:
Step 1: Pick your dates at least three to four weeks in advance. Having your dates already set allows for ample time for you, your boss and coworkers to prepare for your absence.
Step 2: Notify your boss that you are planning to take those days off and submit your time off a request following your company’s policy.
Step 3: Communicate with people in your immediate work circle. You don’t have to tell anyone every detail of your vacation, but it is courteous to personally let people know when you will be out of the office so that they can come up with a game plan to handle the work load.
Step 4: Work ahead and prioritize your work. Try to finish as many assignments as you can, don’t go crazy and get no sleep but working a head will minimize the likelihood of you returning to mountains of work. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your boss if there is anything that he or she would like to be accomplished before you start your vacation. Asking will show you have initiative and are committed to making sure the job gets done.
Look, I know some companies may not promote taking time off as a good thing, and there is more pressure on women to perform than men, and because of this it may seem daunting to take time off, but the culture is changing. So, take your time off, and stop giving your hard-earned money back. I told you how to get around those three significant barriers so no more excuses. Everyone deserves a break, and there is nothing wrong in taking it.