Just an informal survey here. How long had you been in your first position before you took any time off? I have been at my firm for two years and am taking my first day off since I started. I'm taking an extra day on the 4th of July weekend to make it a nice 4-day weekend. I figure my next day off (my goal is a week) will be some time in the summer of 09.
I mentioned it to a friend outside of the business yesterday and his jaw about hit the ground. I tried to explain to him about the nature of this business but he could not get his head around the hours and days we put in the first few years.
While in training, before I actually started production, I took a week. After I started production, i didnt take a vacation for 5 years. (other than maybe a day here and there, like if xmas/new years fell on a Thursday, I might take that Friday). After the 5 years, I took a week, and on the flight home after that week, I swore to myself and my wife that I;d never do that to myself again, no matter what. Now I take a 12 day trip to Aruba every summer, without fail, and usually a week in the winter.
Taking a vacation after you hit your goals is a great reward, taking time off before is industry-suicide.
I have trouble with quantifying "time off" sometimes. Does time off require you don't make any calls to anyone, read/answer no emails, leave the laptop home, do no paperwork, etc.?
By my definition, yes.
I don't see the big deal with a day off here or there. Taking a whole week can be too much time off in the beginning of your career. But, I think it's ok to let yourself refresh every once in a while. I enjoy being in the office every day because I check accounts from the day before, watch the market a little bit, stay up to date on current news through the day, and if I'm lucky I'll find new opportunities out there.
Even when I am on vacation, depending on if I'm in the U.S. or out of the country, I'll check my email, the market, and voice messages daily or throughout the day.
The sad thing is that there are some days in the office that would have been better spent as a day off. In this case, I usually just take a half-day.
Full days off aren't too common, especially in the beginning, so I would agree more or less with the other posters.
My first year in the business, my wife had a child, had surgery, family member passed away. 5 weeks off.
We all need time off. Very few of us have the capability of working long and hard for any extended period of time. Time off, used in a judicious manner, will improve performance.
Bondo, but using your definition, you can never take a day off unless you have staff capable of doing the work for you. We're in a business that entails certain things having to be done today.
I worked extremely hard five days a week for a while. Only worked a couple of Saturdays the first three years.
Went on a couple of vacations - nothing fancy. Then in 03 took a 13 month vacation to Babylon.