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Amy Lynch

Generations Expert + Idea Warrior + Entrepreneur

Vaca Dread Hits Every Generation.

Will you take all your vacation days this year? Probably not. Odds are you'll leave six vacation days unused.

Thirty-seven percent of us dread returning to a mountain of work. Thirty percent of us say no one else can do the job. Another 30 percent say we cannot afford a vacation. But mostly, we are afraid of appearing nonessential. 

Vacation dread hits Millennials hardest. They worry more than Xers or Boomers about holding on to their jobs. One in three Millennials doesn't take vacation because they want to show complete dedication (only 22 percent of X and Boomers say that), and 27 percent of Millennials feel downright guilty about taking vacation (only 19 percent of older gens do). 

Technology is a big piece of this puzzle.  What really keeps us working even when we're gone is constant connectivity: email, texts and omnipresent Wi-Fi. 

So how do different generations claim some down time in the summer time? Here's a quick guide. 

Boomers:  Boomers feel less shame about taking vacation than other generations and are more likely to designate surrogates: a person clients should call with emergencies, a person reports can go to if they have questions. Then most Boomers make a "call me" list (decisions, clients or projects that only they can handle). Most Boomers give that list to someone with authority who's uber attentive, most likely a Gen Xer.

Generation X:  Infamous micromanagers, Xers hang a little closer to work. They typically take three devices on vacation, all of which connect them with their jobs. Do you wear yourself out setting up projects and giving everybody detailed instructions before you leave? Once the trip begins, do you schedule a block of time each day for work, letting everybody know that's when they can reach you? That's so X. Bonus points if you also reach out to key people to make sure you're still in the loop if things change while you're away. 

Millennials:  Most likely to have vacation dread and to feel vacation shame (it's a real thing), Millennials are also the most likely to remain connected 24/7. Millennials generally let co-workers and clients know they can make contact any time except during certain hours—for example, evening hours with the family. If you're an M, you might want to put your blocks of work time and your designated down times on the team calendar (with your laptop stowed and your phone on mute. I know, radical.). That can help you claim some time and feel less vaca dread. 

Are you dreading your vacation? Join the conversation! Tweet us at @AmyLynchgenedge and don’t forget to add your #generation!


Amy Lynch  

Amy Lynch works with companies that want to Harness the Power of Gen IQ: Generational Intelligence. She has spoken to hundreds of groups, from MTV and Comcast to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate.  Contact Amy about your next event. 


Posted by Amy Lynch at 11:00 AM
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