On Taking Time Off

With layoffs in the news and the job market tightening, the inclination might be to forego your vacation this year. By putting in the extra time, you’ll show your company you are loyal, dedicated, a team player…or so the thinking goes.

Except, the truth is, you won’t be doing yourself or your employer any favors. Despite the fact that nearly one-third of U.S. workers don’t use all their vacation time, stress management and work/life balance coaches caution against all work and no play.

The reason, quite simply, is that everybody needs a break.

It’s a message men seem to understand more than women. The 2008 International Vacation Deprivation Survey,  conducted by travel website Expedia.com, finds that men are more likely to take a two-week vacation than women.

The survey also finds that women are more likely than men to feel guilty about taking time off from work.

On average, employed adults in the U.S. receive 14 days vacation per year, and three of those days go unused. Contrast this with employed adults in France, who receive an average 37 vacation days per year and leave only two days on the table.

Hmm, what’s at work in the United States? Work, work, and more work, it would seem.

If it’s difficult to take a long vacation, consider a shorter break. It too can help you recharge.

A travel itinerary may or may not be on your agenda (sorry, Expedia), but rest and relaxation can definitely be part of every single-minded woman’s summer plans.

Paula Santonocito
Career Editor, SingleMindedWomen.com