There’s a lot that changes after you graduate college, but there’s one thing in particular that has affected me a lot. I’m referring to time, or lack thereof. When I was in college I thought I was so busy trying to balance school, work, internships, extracurriculars, etc. The truth is that as busy as I thought I was then, I was about to have even less time once I stepped into the real world. This is something that I don’t think anyone really prepares us for which is why I decided to write this article.
College students have 8-13 weeks of vacation each year between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, and Summer break. If you ask any working adult I’m sure they would kill for this amount of vacation! Unfortunately, the reality is that most companies start off new employees with 2 to 3 weeks of PTO and bump them up to 5 weeks after 5 years. There are companies that offer more PTO, however, so make sure to do your research before applying for jobs if this is something that’s important to you. In fact, some companies have even started giving their employees unlimited PTO. This may sound amazing, but surprisingly, people who have unlimited PTO actually take less time off on average. This is because people feel more guilty if they take too much time off especially if they don’t see their superiors using vacation days. Employees with unlimited PTO take an average of 13 days whereas their counterparts average 15 days. Ultimately, I think that it really comes down to the company culture. If the company genuinely encourages their employees to take time away from work to recharge people wouldn’t feel as guilty using more days. So I’ll stress again, make sure to do your research before applying for jobs!
Something that I find pretty shocking is that the average American employee only takes half of their vacation time, and when employees do take paid time off, 61% admit to working. I’ve definitely seen this first hand with a lot of my coworkers. This is because people have a fear of falling behind and have a hard time disconnecting. I also find it interesting how different other countries vacation policies are from the United States. In European countries, for example, employees get around 25-35 days of PTO and they’re legally required to get at least 20 days. I was recently just in France and I couldn’t believe how many stores and restaurants were closed because the owners were on vacation. That’s just unheard of here in the United States. All joking aside, if vacation time is really important to you, you may want to consider looking for jobs outside of the United States. There’s so many different opportunities in this world so make sure you explore all of your options!
I personally think it’s so important to work hard and rest hard. Vacation days are something that my wife and I really value. This is one of the many reasons why I want to be able to build my own business so that we can make our own schedules and take as many vacation days as we want. I mainly wrote this article to create awareness. I want those of you that are in college or are about to go to college to recognize the fact that time is so valuable and that you will probably not have the time that you do when you’re in school after you graduate. So use that to your advantage and travel, pursue your passions, start new hobbies, work hard to accomplish your goals, do whatever it is that makes you happy! Also, if vacation days are as important to you as they are to me, do your research and find companies that align with your professional goals and also provide good benefits. For some people, vacation days may not be as important and that’s okay. My wish is for all college students is for them to figure out their priorities and land their dream job!
Make sure to click the link below and listen to the episode for more information on this topic!