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Being a Work Martyr Doesn't Help You Advance Your Career, Study Finds

This is why you should be taking advantage of your paid time off.
Being a Work Martyr Doesn't Help You Advance Your Career, Study Finds
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Do you consider yourself a work martyr and feel no one else can do your job? Do you sacrifice your paid time off in a pursuit to further your career? That approach isn't helping you, according to a new study.

While 38 percent of employees say they want their boss to consider them a work martyr, only 79 percent of these self-proclaimed work martyrs actually got a raise, compared to 84 percent of people who did not use this label, according to Project: Time Off's The State of American Vacation 2017.

Related: Why 'Vacation-Shaming' Hurts You More Than Your Employees

"We need to put to rest the fallacy that 'work ethic' is equivalent to work martyrdom," Project: Time Off Director of Communications Cait DeBaun said in a press release. "Not only are employees not getting ahead by sacrificing time off, these habits may also be harming their careers."

Project: Time Off surveyed 7,331 U.S. employees who work more than 35 hours a week and found an increase in the amount of paid time off. In 2016, the average surveyed worker used an average of 16.8 days off -- this number was 16.2 in 2015. However, they’re still not taking full advantage of their vacation days. On average, employees received 22.6 vacation days in 2016 -- and 54 percent of workers say they left days unused.

However, these people might want to start planning some vacations. In fact, a few days off could benefit your career. The study found that employees who forfeit vacation days do not perform as well as those who take advantage of them. Twenty-seven percent of employees who used their vacation days said they were promoted, compared to only 23 percent of those who forfeited these days. That’s because planning for and taking time off is beneficial to well-being, ultimately resulting in boosted morale, performance and professional success.

Related: How to Vacation Like a Boss

The survey also concluded that women are less likely to use all of their vacation days compared to men. In 2016, 44 percent of women used all of their days, compared to 48 percent of men. Those who didn’t take advantage of some time outside the office admitted it was because of “guilt, fear and work martyr habits.”