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Use Your Vacation Time Wisely

Dona DeZube | Monster Finance Careers Expert

July 06, 2010

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Working all year without a vacation is like driving a car for 12 months without stopping to change the oil. You might keep running, but you’re probably heading for a breakdown.

“Vacations are an easy way to recharge the batteries and regroup for the next challenge,” says Judy Meleliat, senior vice president for Xylo, a Web-based work-life solutions provider that’s now part of Workstream.

We know vacations reduce stress, but a Monster poll found that one-third of respondents have 10 or fewer days of vacation a year.

Be Aware of Your Benefits

Vacation time may not be at the top of your list of items to ask about when job hunting, but it’s important to consider how corporate culture and job function might influence your vacation time.

“For those employees in seasonal industries, there are sometimes only certain windows during the year when employees usually take time off,” Meleliat points out. “Employees who work for other industries with continual workflow throughout the year sometimes take shorter and more frequent vacations.” If you’re doing a project-based job, you may have to time your vacations to coincide with the end of a project rather than a date on your kids’ school calendar.

While many job seekers are reluctant to bring up vacation time during salary negotiations, some younger workers don’t hesitate to negotiate for extra time off, says Anne Pasley-Stuart, president of Pasley-Stuart Consulting, a Boise, Idaho, human resources firm. In fact, many workers from Generations X and Y will negotiate additional weeks of vacation for slightly lower salary. “Time off is a very important thing to them,” explains Pasley-Stuart. “They expect it, they’ll take it, and they don’t care if that offends their boss.”

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