Did you know that American's take less vacation days than almost every other developed country? Not only are we offered less (2-3 weeks compared to around 6 weeks in European countries) but we work longer days/weeks, and our employers often make it hard for people to get away for extended periods of time. How many people do you know that have accrued so much vacation that they are losing it, simply because they can't actually get away from work? I'm fairly young, 25 to be exact, and this happens to my friends in the business world a lot.
I'm not sure why my business friends come to mind first. I have friends still working retail who are not even offered paid vacation time because its not required here in the U.S, I'm personally in the midst of planning a trip and I won't know for a while if I'm even going to get the entire time I have requested off (I should also add I had to put in my vacation request before Christmas to even have a chance and I'm trying to leave in July). Every working American can be affected by our lack of policy that encourages people to take time off. The millennial generation is different. Working hard without a break just to end up on top first isn't how we do things, its how we burnout. We see value in seeing the world and paying for experiences instead of material things. Our workforce needs to change as millennials become the working class, we simply need more from life than work. I love what I do but I've never wanted my job to define who I am, because I am so much more than that, we all are. Maybe not everyone knows that we are behind the times in supporting our employees to take vacation, adjust to being a new parent, recover from an injury, or even being able to properly grieve a loss; but we are. You can look it up, here are a few articles I enjoyed reading to better understand this issue that isn't getting a ton of attention right now:
This last link has some awesome charts to have a better visual representation of what I am talking about.
I'm not exactly sure how to spark change but I'm hoping we can, so spread the word.