Unlimited PTO


When I started working at my last job, in advertising, I joined up with a company that offered unlimited PTO (paid time off). I thought that was awesome and it was one of the major selling points of taking the offer.

A couple of people warned me though. According to a few reports going around, people who work at companies with unlimited PTO apparently, on average, took less vacation than your average employee at a company with a standard vacation policy.

The idea was that while it was technically "unlimited", it created this feeling of guilt in employees who felt that they'd end up taking too much time off and abuse the policy. There are also plenty of tales of managers helping that guilt along, and the whole modern era "work all the time" mentality certainly doesn't help. So it's not to say that the problem laid on the employee. 

In any case I lucked out big time. Not only was that not the case at my job, but it was the opposite. Towards the end of my first year my manager actually noticed that I hadn't taken a full two weeks off by that point and insisted I put some extra PTO on my calendar. She told me she didn't want me to burn out and that I shouldn't be afraid to use the unlimited PTO policy. It was a small gesture, but it was one I'll never forget because it was when I realized that she actually did care about her team. Not that it was in question before that, but it just drove home the point. 

Over the following few years I had several other managers and all of them followed in that idea. I never had a request denied. I was never told I took too much time off, and we were always reminded as a team to make sure we were taking enough days to stay healthy. Honestly I loved that company and while the work itself didn't thrill me by the end, I know what if I ever end up having to go back to an office job, I'm going right back to my old boss to see what might be open.

Now I work for myself. I am my own boss, I set my own hours, and I only need to run things past me. It is somehow even more freedom than a company unlimited PTO policy, yet now I'm running into that guilty feeling whenever I set aside time to not work. 

Don't get me wrong, a good part of that is just a genuine desire to work. I love what I do so much that sleep has gone from something I wish I could get back to every morning to something I wish I could skip just because it'd give me 7 more hours to do stuff.

But I do think a part of it is just a guilt rooted in thinking that the only way to approach this whole "work for yourself" thing is to just dedicate everything to it and never stop. I guess some people pull that off, but even with something you love, that can't be healthy. 

I only bring all this up because there's been a trip in the works for a while that I had set some money aside for that is finally happening. A number of other Disney YouTubers are all going to the parks at the end of next month to meet up in person. It seems like a great opportunity to finally meet some friends I've worked with over the last year, and meet some new friends and talk shop. Almost like a mini-conference for Disney YouTubers. I was feeling guilty about the idea of going though because I had already planned this cruise/trip in January, a full half a year away. Apparently to my brain the two are too close and to go to both is me being lazy.

Luckily I suppressed my stupid brain enough to book the trip, so it is happening. At worst it'll be just a short mini-summer vacation and at best it'll be a great opportunity to meet other Disney creators and help grow all of our channels. I just needed to leap over the mental hurdle that kept telling me no. I was literally working out a pros and cons list in my head and for all the pros (it's cheap, I have the money saved already, I'll get to meet friends, it might help the channel) I only had one nebulous con, which was "I don't know I feel like I shouldn't because it'd make me lazy, right?"

No. I don't think it will. So tickets booked and off I go in six weeks.