We’ve all heard baby boomers tell us that millennials are unfocused, lazy, entitled… but apparently we use our office vacation days less often then our older colleagues. As we already know, millennials are more stressed than our our counterparts, largely because we feel worried about the world’s major issues and feel responsibility for fixing it.
A study in the US has found that many millennials feel guilty for using their annual leave and vacation time, and to make things worse, we actually shame each other for taking that leave. To paraphrase Tina Fey in Mean Girls, there has been some millennial on millennial crime here.
So, why do we feel ashamed to take leave? There are some serious questions we need to ask ourselves. Are we not taking time off because we are saving that up to take a big holiday? That’s a great goal to have, but be honest with yourself. If you haven’t already planned the holiday, then are you really going to take it? Why not take a week off, even if you stay home? It helps you relax and remain positive on the job.
The more worrying explanation is that you feel like you can’t take the time off work. Let’s take a moment to break that down… Legally, the Australian government has mandated that all full-time workers accrue four weeks of annual leave. You get to take that whenever you want (within reason). Are you worried about being being looked over for a promotion because you requested leave? Here’s a newsflash for you: that’s illegal and stop taking that crap.
Or can your workplace really not function without you? If this is the case, maybe you need to talk to your boss about restructuring. No business should solely rely on one person unless you’re a kickass one-man-band.
And why are we shaming each other for taking time off? This seems utterly moronic to me. If we want to impress our boss and prove we are a hard workers, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to prove how hard we can work and and how little we get stressed out? It’s called work life balance after all. If you’re stressed and angry because you’re working so hard, you’re more likely to make silly mistakes and this can be detrimental to your career progression. A week off here and there will let you rejuvenate your brain so you can come back to work and kick goals left, right and centre.
So, how do we fix this? TAKE YOUR DAMN TIME OFF.
You get four weeks a year where you can take a holiday and still get paid for it and this is because you’ve probably worked your butt off for the other 240 odd work days in the year. Besides, no one likes a brown-noser!