I have been out of college and working a 9-5 corporate job for a number of years now. I remember when I first graduated and got a job, the process of working full time kind of shocked my system. Don’t get me wrong, college was tough, what with the exams and the loads of homework, but college was also fun. Some days I had no class, or just one class. On those days, I’d come home, work on some homework for a couple of hours, but then I had the entire rest of the day to do whatever I wanted AND I could stay up as late as I wanted. The schedule was so lax. Not to mention, you get loads of vacation time. And you never realize how lucky you are until you graduate. I remember complaining about the homework and the tough exams and the annoying professors. Looking back, I wish I could tell my college self to enjoy it and stay in as long as possible. Those “super Seniors” really had the right idea. Stay in school as long as you can kids. Even change your major a couple times if you have to.
Now, maybe it’s different for those who love their jobs. Actually, it’s definitely different for those who love their jobs. If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. But there are many people, like me, who haven’t found that dream job yet, and are forced to settle for something less exciting in order to pay the bills. You would think I would have gotten used to it by now, accepted the fact that this is what being an adult is, but I just can’t. It’s not that I hate my job. I realize I sound ungrateful. It could always be worse. But my job is not something I get excited about and you can be sure, I use every bit of vacation time I have accrued.
I get two weeks of vacation time per year. I remember thinking a couple weeks into the first job I worked out of college, I cannot do this for the rest of my life. I already felt like I needed an entire month of vacation off. Most of my co-workers worked right through lunch, but I always left the building, sucking every minute out of my lunch hour that I could. I remember a co-worker saying, “well there’s a lot to do and you get overtime”. Overtime or no overtime, I couldn’t force myself to stay there anymore than I was obligated to. I’m happier at my current job than I was at that one, thank the Lord, but the lack of vacation time is a problem.
Two weeks vacation for an entire year is nothing! 14 days out of 365 (or 260 work days). And for someone who goes stir crazy after being in the same place for any period of time longer than 3 months, it’s a problem. It takes a lot of strategic planning and I have to say no to a number of worthy vacations. I have to be selective with who I choose to spend my limited vacation time with. It’s not an easy thing to juggle. I’ve debated taking un-paid vacation time, but that seems to be something people just don’t do? It would be tough, but it would be something I’d be willing to sacrifice for.
I guess maybe it takes a couple of years to get used to the system. Or maybe this is God’s way of telling me to pursue a different job, one that fulfills a passion, one that I’ll use my full potential for, and one that I’m excited to wake up for. Until I find that job, I’ll be thankful for what I do have. In the meantime, however, there’s nothing wrong with hoping for a little more vacation time!