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Lazy. Entitled. Privileged. Narcissistic. Selfish. Unambitious. You’ve heard them all at this point, and it would be pointless to expound on how those descriptors for anyone born after 1981 are, in fact, not as accurate as baby boomers would like to believe. When it comes to the internet as a whole, bashing “millennials” is as easy as writing list articles on BuzzFeed or calling someone out for their white privilege.
But Harvard Business Review has done a study that you can now reference whenever 60-year-old Steve in accounting gives you shit for leaving at 5:01 because he’s been with the company for thirty-plus years. Yeah, guys, Harvard. So you know it’s legit.
They surveyed 5,000 full-time employees who received paid time off and gave them the following statements to see if they agreed or disagreed with the sentiments.
“No one else at my company can do the work while I’m away.”
“I want to show complete dedication to my company and job.”
“I don’t want others to think I am replaceable.”
“I feel guilty for using my paid time off.”
Now, this won’t help the whole “entitlement” piece, but 43 percent of millennials said that they agreed with those statements compared to 29 percent of everyone else in the survey. The older generation will say that we’re delusional for thinking like that, but don’t worry, there’s more.
When it came to the vacation days that were actually used, millennials proved much more likely to leave some on the table than any other group of people. 24 percent of millennials forfeited vacation days, while 19 percent of “Gen Xers” and 17 percent of “Baby Boomers” forfeited theirs. Must be nice, Steve. Must be nice. And a large part of that can be attributed to the shaming that our generation feels from our elders. 59 percent felt ashamed to take or plan a vacation while a measly 41 percent of workers 35 and older felt the same shame. And as someone who has feared requesting vacation from an overbearing boss in the past, it’s a familiar feeling that plagues more than just the recent grads in your office.
America, as a whole, has seen a huge decline in vacation usage. For example, in 1978, Americans used an average of 19.6 vacation days per year. This peaked in 1996 when Americans used 21.1 vacation days per year but has been steadily declining ever since. As of March of this year, Americans were only using an average of 16.1 vacation days per year which probably seems astronomical considering the current job market barely even offers that many.
What you need to get from all of this? Take that long weekend to hit the lake house. Go to that Kentucky Derby without feeling guilt about taking the following Monday off to nurse your hangover. Set an out-of-office auto-reply for when you’re at that bachelor party in Charleston. Just whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about taking the vacation you’ve earned. Drake said, “jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.” And 60-year-old Steve is probably just jealous. .
[via Harvard Business Review]