Summer is winding down, the kids are going back to school and if you are like most Americans, you may be regretting not taking more time off from work and are now staring at a number of vacation days that might go unused the rest of the year.
As Kathy shared recently, we are terrible at taking the time off that we have earned. While studying Conscious Consumers and working in the travel and tourism sector, we have touted the benefits of taking vacations and the idea of recharging, but as technological advancements have made the world intimately connected and the speed of business continues to accelerate, many find it next to impossible to actually disconnect and relax.
How many times have you heard someone come back to the office and say, “I need a vacation from my vacation.”? For those that were able to actually tear themselves away from their devices and stop checking emails, there are short-term benefits, but as research has shown, pre-vacation stress and burnout levels return after less than a week.
So why does this continue to happen? For one, we have evolved into a society of workaholics, especially among younger Conscious Consumers. According to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair survey, more than half of Americans monitor emails outside of the office and that number spikes to over 70% among those less than 30 years old.
Those surveyed preferred an extra $20,000 when given the choice between the raise or four more weeks of vacation. Two-thirds think that they should be paid for unused sick time and when asked what animal they were most like, the majority selected a worker bee over a butterfly, shark or sloth (only 4%).
The optimist in me thinks that this is because many Conscious Consumers actually enjoy their jobs and aren’t looking to completely disconnect, whether it is logging back on after the kids go to bed, writing a blog post on the weekend or checking emails while on the beach sipping on a mai tai.
Personally, I just had a great vacation, driving out to the Black Hills with my extended family. Part of what made it enjoyable was that I actually did check in with work to see what was going on. Once a day, I would sift through my emails and delete the unnecessary messages so I could have a sense of what was waiting for me when I returned to the office. This allowed me to enjoy our daily hikes more because I actually knew what was going on and that everything was in good hands.
One of the reasons why I enjoy working at CCF is that we don’t work with brands that just want to sell widgets and impress their shareholders with shiny earnings reports, we work with brands that actually want to create behavioral change for the good. My personal values as a Conscious Consumer are a match with our corporate philosophy.
I don’t subscribe to the mantras of “I work to live” or “I live to work” because I think both are extreme and the rise of Conscious Consumerism will continue to blend the two together. Conscious Consumers vote with their dollars in order to impact the world around them. I think they will continue to do the same with their career choices.
Brands that appeal to Conscious Consumers will not only win by beating their competitors but also thrive in attracting talent. It truly is a win-win.
So next time you find yourself craving a vacation or depressed that your vacation will be over soon, take a second to think about why. Maybe that thought is a sign of what the real problem is and that you should find a job/career that you actually enjoy.