Go On Vacation to Improve Your Career

Everybody knows that going on vacation is good for your stress levels. It’s a pretty intuitive fact that taking time away from work and doing something, anything else is key to maintaining your sanity after racking up weeks of managing others, fixing the office printer, cranking out TPS reports, or whatever your daily work requires.

Whether your idea of a great vacation is visiting an amusement park, sight-seeing in France, lying around a beach or just sitting around the house for a “staycation,” vacations are clearly an important part of maintaining some sort of balance between your work and home lives.

Credit: Taino Beach Resort & Clubs

Of course, vacations have one big drawback: they mess with your career. You can’t afford to take time off and let work pile up, and besides, the guy in the next office over doesn’t take all of his vacation days, and you can’t let him outshine you. Right?

Wrong. It turns out that by foregoing your vacation days and keeping your nose to the grindstone, you are likely doing a disservice to not only your mental health and personal life, but also your career.

That’s right, a recent study showed that people who don’t use their vacation time are actually as much as 84% less likely to get raises or bonuses than those who do use vacation time. And it’s not as if those who don’t use their time just love work that much – 92% of people who don’t use all of their vacation time still say that taking vacation time is important to them.

So what are we left with? A work world where although virtually everyone wants to use their vacation time, a large portion of people choose not to, even though they ultimately don’t get raises or bonuses for their sacrifices. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, right?

Maybe it does, though. After all, someone who isn’t bashful about using their vacation time is probably also not bashful about asking for a raise. They may also be the type to speak their minds at meetings or give ideas to their managers that lead to promotions. Simply put, if skipping vacation days is your plan to please your managers and climb the ladder, you’re putting your eggs in the wrong basket.

Credit: Harvard Health Publications

Besides that, a number of studies have shown that work performance improves when workers actually have a healthy work-life balance. Taking vacation time refreshes your mind and body and practically guarantees that you’ll turn in better quality work when you return. Next time you think about whether to use your vacation days, do yourself – and your career – a favor and just do it.