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Forfeiting the Best Days of Your Life

“Would you do your job for free? And do you take all your vacation days? If you say no to the first, you had better say yes to the second.” – Harvard Business Review

Project: Time Off reported that, in 2016, Americans left 662 million vacation days unused. Of these, 206 million days weren’t rolled over or paid out, meaning American workers gave up $66.4 billion in benefits last year. The average employee donated $604 in work time to their employer.

Your vacation days are part of your pay. Not using them all is like ripping up your check. Volunteer work is admirable, of course, but while you may choose to volunteer time at your local food bank, I don’t think a lot of employees intend to volunteer time at their regular 9-to-5. Yet, more than half of Americans have been leaving vacation time on the table for years.

Hopefully, you enjoy your work. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes from doing a job that you’re good at and being valued by your peers as well as your boss. The desire to be seen as successful and get ahead is part of what lea