Paid time off (PTO) is becoming a trending topic in my conversations lately. It seems like I'm always telling someone "That would be sweet, but I just don't have the PTO." I'd love to travel full time, but unfortunately that doesn't pay the bills. For those of us that work full time it's essential you covet every hour of PTO.
My PTO is distributed on an accrual basis, so I earn "x" amount of PTO per hour worked. In theory, it's a great idea because you're not limited to a set amount, like one or two weeks. What they don't tell you is that you use it WAY faster than you accrue it. It feels like I spend months slaving away at the office for only a couple hours of PTO.
I'm sure some of you have heard of, or even work for, companies that offer unlimited PTO. I find most of these companies are what I would consider "New Age" or "Hipster" companies. They're young, trendy, and usually have nap pods. Studies show that employees that work for places with unlimited PTO actually take less time off of work.
In most European countries there are laws in place requiring employees to take time off of work. Most of these countries require you take anywhere from 4-6 weeks off a year! I think I've taken roughly nine days off this year. Even if I continue my current trend, I'll only end up taking off 18 days, leaving me one week short of most Europeans.
Now some of you may be thinking"Wow! that sounds a little greedy," to which I'll say you're partially right. Do I travel more than your average Tom, Dick, and Harry? Yes. But is it substantial enough to consider working part-time? No. My hope is that one day I can find a job that let's me travel as much as my budget allows. If I've got the money, I want to be able to jump on a cheap fare to Europe on a moments notice. If there's award space on Emirates first class to Dubai, I want to be able to book it knowing I don't have to worry about work.
After reading about this topic on other travel blogs, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. What 24 year old wants to be tied to a desk for the rest of their working lives? Not me! What's your take on the never ending PTO pickle? Do you get enough?