Take ALL of your Paid Time Off!

When people look at changing companies or changing jobs – there are plenty of factors that come into play, right? Does the company fit the values that are important to me? Does the role challenge me and make me better? Will the environment help me grow as a person and a professional? All super important things and buzz words used in job descriptions across the web.

It’s like we’ve stopped talking about the basics – benefits, vacation time, flexible work schedules and 401k. Have we stopped talking about these things because they’re not relevant or because they’re assumed (that might be another blog!)?

If you’re working for a tech company or a rapidly growing company, you might have heard of companies that don’t have PTO policies. Take as much (or as little) time off as you need to, just make sure your job gets done.

While this sounds like a huge perk and one we’d all love to have, depending upon what study you read – between 25-40% of people use all of their vacation time. Companies are throwing in the perk of “unlimited PTO” – knowing that most people won’t take advantage of it. In fact, it’s rumored that people that work for companies with unlimited time off, take even less time off than those of us with 2-4 weeks vacation time.

Why don’t we take the time?!

I’ve worked for companies that have a “use it or lose it” PTO policy – and I promise you I take every minute, hour, and day promised to me. Why? Because it’s part of my benefits package. Because time off is so important to relax and recharge. And because there isn’t a study out there than can convince me that working more is going to help me be a more engaged, successful employee.

When I first started in my career, I was afraid to take time off. I suppose you could say that I had FOMO (fear of missing out). I also didn’t want to be seen as lazy or have anyone question my dedication to my job and my career. I thought showing up was the easiest way I had to show how hard I was willing to work.

I was wrong. The work I did while I was there, the attention to detail I put into my job, and my willingness to always help out – that was what got me noticed. I was noticed and promoted because I showed interest in my job and asked a lot of questions, not because I never took a day off.

With more and more research showing the importance of sleep and down time to really be effective – companies should actually be encouraging their employees to take time off. When you finish a big project or launch a new, large account – taking a day to relax, recharge, and celebrate your success is absolutely acceptable.

On the flip side, if you’re burnt out, frustrated, and feel like you’re not giving your all at work – you could also benefit from taking a day or so off to refocus. Sometimes time and distance can give you perspective on what you need to do to get back into the swing of things.

When you take time off – take time off.

Silence your email notifications. Don’t answer work email or texts. Let your team know that you plan to take the day off and to only contact you in the case of an emergency. Do your best to really disconnect and enjoy the time away from work.

As a salesperson and as a sales leader it can sometimes feel like there is no way to “turn if off.” What if a client calls? What if that prospect I’ve been calling on for two years finally responds to my email? It’s tough to trust that a day or two away from work will NOT make or break your month or your quarter. Spoiler alert – it won’t!

We all have that friend that claims they’re “always working…” and they LOVE their job. I love my job. I love working with my coaching clients. I also love the beach with a fruity cocktail and no email access. It’s 100% necessary for your mental health to take time away.

Time away doesn’t have to be a week on the beach. We all know that #staycation is a thing right now. Grab your girlfriends, take a Friday off work, go to brunch, go shopping, have a fun dinner at a fancy restaurant and crash at a local hotel. The point of time away from work is to recharge, so when you do go back – you’re 100%.

As I’ve mentioned – your PTO is a benefit offered to your by your employer – just like your health benefits, your 401k, and your discounted gym membership. And, they all should all be used to the max!

Enjoy your time off!