If You Want a Promotion or a Raise, You Need to Take — Not Skip! — Vacation

It might be counterintuitive, but it's real.

If you've ever gotten stuck in a rut at work, martyring yourself by always being the last one in the office and never ever taking vacation — you need to read this. It turns out that the very behaviors you think may be making you look like the most loyal, dedicated, irreplaceable employee in the game... could actually be having exactly the opposite effect.

Consider this: According to a new report from U.S. Travel Association org Project: Time Off, more than half of working Americans didn't use all of their vacation days in 2015; more specifically, 55 percent of workers left 658 million days of paid time off on the table.

Obviously, taking time away from work has many mental-health benefits... but it turns out that, in addition to helping you stay sane, it also contributes to your bottom line at work. Indeed, the report unearthed the discovery that workers who actually used all of their paid time off were more likely to actually receive a bonus or a raise. So again, if you think you look more valuable when desperately chained to your desk — think again.

On the flip side, the report found that less than a quarter of all respondents — just 23 percent — who didn't take their vacations received a promotion in the last year. 

“Employees who forfeit their vacation days do not perform as well as those who use all their time,” according to the report. “While they may believe sacrificing vacation time will get them ahead, these employees are less likely than non-forfeiters to have been promoted within the last year (23 to 27 percent) and to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years (78 to 84 percent). This is on top of the $66.4 billion in benefits they lost by forfeiting time last year.”

So there you have it: Tell your boss you're OOO... and be very glad you did.

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