Last year at this time you promised yourself you were going to take all of your vacation days in 2011. Yet, here we are in December and you have vacation days left to take. But there is so much work to do before the end of the year and several of your coworkers already scheduled time off. You could ask HR if they are willing to let you carry your days over. Not very likely but you could ask.
How did it happen again? You have the vacation days, you intend to take them and yet you don’t, every year. Do you really love your work that much? What about your family? Do you dislike spending time with them so much you would rather be at work?
I know I used to worry, “what if something comes up and I need the days later in the year?” “If I schedule all my time off and something great comes up I won’t be able to go.” Do you know how often that happened? Never. Not once in all the years I worried about it did I ever have a situation where my having saved my vacation days allowed me to do some great spontaneous thing.
So this year, rather than hoping things will be different, make them different. Imagine what you would like to do with your vacation time. Are you a several long weekends kind of person or a two week blowout on the beach? What time of year is the perfect time for you to get away? If you must, consider when it is best for work for you to be away. Then just schedule it. There is nothing that says you can’t change or cancel the dates if something comes up. So put a stake in the sand. Let your boss know that you want to take a four day weekend in May. Why May? I don’t know, it’s nice that time a year; but mostly just because you can. Even if all you end up doing that weekend is hanging out at home with some friends, isn’t that better than losing the days at the end of the year?
Not using your vacation days is like paying your company for you to keep slaving away in the rat maze. They get paid and you keep working? Does that sound right to you? CNN Money reported that Americans will leave $34.3 billion in unused vacation days on the table this year. Is any of that money yours? Is planning your time off really that challenging? I think you and your family are well worth it. So schedule your time off in 2012 now. Then spend the time after your huge holiday meal daydreaming about what you are going to do with it.
How many days are you giving up this year? More or less than last year? What excuse do you have for not taking the time off you are given? Tell is in the comments!