The Millennial ‘Work Martyr’
“The ‘entitled millennial’ narrative is dead wrong when it comes to vacation,” says Katie Denis, author of the recently released Project: Time Off report “The Work Martyr’s Cautionary Tale: How the Millennial Experience Will Define America’s Vacation Culture.”
“As the largest generation in the workforce—one that is now stepping into management—millennials are developing vacation attitudes that will define and negatively affect America’s work culture,” Denis says.
According to the report, millennials are the generation most likely to have a “work martyr” mindset: forgoing time off from work out of fear or guilt.
“The circumstances of the millennial experience—the Great Recession and its aftershocks, growing student debt, and an always-connected lifestyle—have created a perfect storm for their work martyr behavior,” says Denis.
Millennial Work martyrs avoid taking time off work for a variety of reasons, the report found, such as:
- They believe they are showing complete dedication to the job.
- They believe they will be perceived as replaceable.
- They believe they may lose consideration for a raise or promotion.
- They believe only they can do the job.
- They believe their boss may have a negative reaction.
The report indicates the work martyr culture is perpetuated from both sides: millennials in management roles not only feel they cannot take time off, but also feel pressure to deny time-off requests from those they supervise.
Still, most millennials believe a work martyr is a good role to assume, and that the martyr mindset will be positively received by their bosses.
Denis cautions less time off can have widespread negative effects across all working generations.
“There are larger implications for the workforce when people don’t take vacation,” Denis says. “Time off is essential to employee productivity, creativity, and overall performance.”
Source: Project: Time Off