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As Americans kick off the Memorial Day holiday weekend, an Expedia survey notes that we wasted $67 billion in vacation days last year.
According to the results, the average American also receives and uses less vacation days than people in other industrialized countries. For example, the average American worker got 18 vacation days, but only used 14. Whereas, French (37 vacation days) and British (28 vacation days) citizens all received and used substantially more time off.
One of the reasons for the lack of vacation time is many Americans cannot take the time off because they are over-worked. In the shadows of the Great Recession, many US workers are performing multiple jobs. Other reasons cited by analysts commenting in response to this story are that due to the recession, many do not believe they can afford to take the time off, either because their employers are not supportive, they have anxiety about their jobs or their own personal finances preclude them from taking vacations.
Regardless of a persons work situation it is critical to take time off periodically to recharge, and it is important for companies to invest in wellness programs (see for example, GovWin member company Greenleaf Integrative Strategies) to help reduce stress, improve productivity and create a psychologically healthy workplace.
What do you think about the lack of vacation time in America?
Do American companies need to provide more vacation time? Do Americans need to be more demanding about taking time off? Post a comment below or where this entry was originally posted: This Memorial Day, Help Take Back $67 Billion in Wasted Vacation Days. And have a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday.
There is nothing better than celebrating the holidays with family and friends – Christmas and the New Year especially.
Of all the holidays, Christmas and the New Year are the strongest celebrations about beginnings – the birth of Jesus Christ and the start of a new year. They are moments in which we are thankful for the year gone by (and sometimes surprised at the speed with which it has come and gone) and we look ahead with optimism, freshness and hope that are unlike other times of the year.
It is in looking ahead to all the possibilities in 2010 – for me, my family and friends around me – that gets me revved-up and excited.
So, as 2009 comes to an end, I hope everyone else out there can seize the energy that comes with a fresh start – all the power and joy that comes from a new beginning, where the slate is wiped clean and all your ideas and dreams become possible again.
When the holidays roll around, starting with Thanksgiving in late November, we often hear people say that we need to be thankful.
Indeed, with the economy sinking more each day, hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, and many more on the cusp of losing their jobs and homes, it is even more critical now than ever to find some silver lining, as well as to look ahead.
But as we express thanks for the people and things that matter most to us, I suggest we take a few additional steps and strive to make personal improvements in our own character that will serve us well into the year and life.
- Show more gratitude to the people who have been there for you, not just during the year, but in your life. You know how financial analysts say that if you cannot pay a bill completely – at least send some money and show good faith? Well, the same is true with relationships. No one is expecting you to give back everything they have done for you in one swoop. Sending flowers, a card, or making a simple phone call every once in a while can go a long way to letting people know that you care.
- Be polite to people you meet
Thanks to everyone who loved and cared for me last year, and indeed all the years I have been alive. May 2009 bring you the joy you deserve and the strength you need.
I just had an interesting email exchange with a friend of mine who was concerned about posting an article he wrote on different sites or commenting about an issue he cares about. His concern was based on the idea that he did not want to appear to be promoting himself too much, or appear to be too biased. He even mentioned the idea of creating an alias or using others to post on his behalf.
That got me thinking. Are we so concerned about “self-promotion” that we actually stop saying what we want to say in public?
I remember Dick Vitale talking about an event he does for kids with cancer on Mike and Mike in the Morning. At one point, in the middle of a typically emotional and loud response, Dicky V brought up complaints he has received from people saying that he always promoting himself and his work as if it was a bad thing. Vitale’s response was, and I am paraphrasing here, “Come on, baby! If you don’t promote yourself or what you do – who is going to do it for you? Who will ever hear about what you are doing or why you are doing it?”.
Of course, in blogging, or interacting socially on any medium for that matter, we tend to confuse self-promotion with what we really want to achieve, which is a type of genuine sharing. Seth Godin has a really good short post on this in which he acknowledges that the very term “self promotion” is often used to described someone promoting him/herself at the expense of others. But do we really think that of everyone who promotes themselves?
It’s easy to see Dick Vitale get some flack, because I know of people who are tired of his routine and find his personality… well… annoying. But the truth is – Vitale’s pitch is designed to encourage awareness not so much of himself at the expense of others (fame for the sake of fame), but of his work to helping fight cancer. Translation – there is something genuine and true and useful connected to his promotional efforts. He wants to make a change, and by telling you about that – he is hoping you will join him in that cause.
To Godin’s point, so long as you are really promoting something useful – such as a useful ideas – or tactics or products that actually benefit the person they’re reaching out to, you really don’t fit into this more negative interpretation of “self promotion.”
The other component to this is that you should not let conventional perceptions about promoting yourself to deny you from making a public effort to change a trend or influence people. In the case of my friend, I recommend he take the plunge and get introduced to social media – particularly blogging – so he can experience for himself how people exchange ideas through their blogs and how others respond to them. Because if you hide behind an alias or keep yourself from spreading your useful ideas, you can’t expect to develop the clout or means for the change you want to achieve.