1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How can I still have vacations without an academic job?

  1. Feb 17, 2010 #1
    I'm in the final leg of an applied math PhD and I won't be getting an academic job. Does anyone know about career paths that involve more than 10 days off each year?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2010 #2
    Lots of jobs give more vacation than that. I've got four weeks a year plus the ten federal holidays, for example; I believe that federal workers get the same after three years' service. Where did you get this notion?
     
  4. Feb 17, 2010 #3
    Some of my industry (non PhD) friends talk about this. They spend lots of time planning their vacations out down to the day.

    Just so that we use the same units:
    2 weeks = 10 days
     
  5. Feb 18, 2010 #4
    At most companies I've worked for the standard package is 20 days + federal holidays + a few personal days thrown in.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2010 #5
    Hmm, looks like bad news ahead. I should really start thinking about slowing down the pace.
     
  7. Feb 18, 2010 #6

    Choppy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Vacation time is also related to experience and time of service with a company. Some jobs will start out with only 2 weeks, but then move up to four within the first five years or so. Confining yourself to such a sweeping statement is like asking if anyone knows of any jobs that pay more than $35k per year.

    It's important to remember that when starting a job, everything is negotiable (although it's a lot harder to negotiate individually if, for example you have a unionized position). If vacation time is important to you, make sure that you highlight that during the negotiations. Some companies, especially smaller ones, are willing to offer more time off in lieu of increased salary.
     
  8. Feb 18, 2010 #7

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Choppy makes good points here. One thing to keep in mind though: it's probably not a good idea to mention your desire of extra vacation time until after a job offer has been made.

    Also, how much vacation time are you looking for?
     
  9. Feb 18, 2010 #8
    ? The responses thusfar have been from people saying they get more than double the holiday entitlement you're asking for. Sounds good to me.

    In the UK, 4-5 weeks per year is common in industry positions, with extra days awarded for length of service.

    I'm confused why finding a job with a high(er/est) holiday entitlement seems to be your priority. I would find yourself an area you'll feel happy working in, then within that, you'll be able to check out which companies suit you in terms of staff benefits.

    How much holiday time were you expecting to get had you made it into an academic position?
     
  10. Feb 18, 2010 #9
    I think I can guess why. If I had a job in which i was able to work half the year for half the salary, I'd be able to spend the rest of the time doing academic research. The problem is that there really aren't that many jobs that are that flexible. I've been thinking about why and I've been able to come up with three reasons:

    1) most salaried positions you have an upfront cost of getting someone to work, and once you paid for that, you want to squeeze as much work as possible,

    2) most salaried positions are not time clock positions

    3) finally and more interesting, managers can give people different amounts of salary without people noticing, whereas vacation time is quite noticeable. This creates bidding wars and resentments.

    The other thing is that academic jobs aren't necessarily less time intensive.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2010 #10

    Choppy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    In addition to what Two Fish Quant said there's also a lot to be said for having time off, even from a job you enjoy. A few years ago my wife and I were able to negotiate 6 weeks off in the winter. I was able to carry over some unused time and she took a brief unpaid leave of absence for the days beyond her alotted holidays. We used the time for a dream vacation around New Zealand.
     
  12. Apr 1, 2010 #11
    ...then I'm not surprised you are thinking about holidays :) Most real world jobs will not be as tough as this, if you are treating the final leg seriously.
     
  13. Apr 1, 2010 #12

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Something from my experience that has not been mentioned- just because you have vacation days available to you (as distinct from Federally-mandated vacation days), there could be institutional pressure not to use them. At one job, unused vacation days convert to a financial bonus at the end of the year; at another, vacation days could be taken as long as there was nothing due during the vacation period (i.e. there was never any available time to actually take vacation). Then there's the fact that (perhaps) your co-workers don't take vacation, or your boss doesn't take vacation, etc. etc.
     
  14. Apr 1, 2010 #13
    Conversely, one prominent think tank offers additional pay for each vacation day that is taken -- taking all of one's annual accrual in a given year results in a 5% salary boost. Which discourages building up massive amounts of leave, but most companies just do that via a cap.
     
  15. Apr 1, 2010 #14
    The vacation schedule here is 10 days per year plus 13ish holidays with 5 extra days every 5 years to a cap of 25. Unused vacation is not reimbursed. It's a pretty standard package for your huge megacorp.
     
  16. Apr 1, 2010 #15

    Office_Shredder

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is one of those short-term long-term things. Short term, you kind of don't want employees taking vacations because it means they're not doing work. Long term, you don't want them to burn out, and employees might think 'oh, I can't use all my vacation days that will make me look bad' (meaning they aren't concerned about whether there's a cap on saving up or not) when in fact the company thinks 'If they don't take vacation days we're going to have retention rate issues in four years'

    Getting paid to take vacations makes people happy and more likely to want to work at that company
     
  17. Apr 2, 2010 #16

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    This probably doesn't apply to you yet, but t's important to realize that, for example, when one of my kids is sick and can't go to school, I (or my wife) have to take a vacation day to stay home with them. Or parent-teacher conference days when there's no school. Or if I have a doctor appointment, that's vacation time. That is, 'vacation days' don't mean you get to take a vacation.

    Unfortunately, in general companies are not interested in making sure you are happy, but rather interested that you are generating profit for them.
     
  18. Apr 2, 2010 #17

    Dembadon

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Disclaimer: It is not my intention to boast, but rather to encourage the OP, and others reading this thread that all hope is not lost.

    I am lab technician for a (small) private company. After 3 years of working for this company, I accrue vacations hours at a rate of 5 weeks per year. I have 80 hours total per year of sick pay. We also get 2 personal holidays; pick any two days out of the year that you want to have PTO. They pay 100% of my premiums for health (Anthem's Premier PPO) and dental (Best Life's best plan) insurance, and 50% of all my dependants (none yet). :smile:

    They also have a 401k/profit sharing program in which I am 100% vested the day I enter the plan, and they match my contributions 100% for up to 6% of my annual salary. We get quarterly bonuses and also a bonus in September which they have named "Christmas in September."

    Edit: And I have not yet completed my B.Sc.! I think bonuses/vacation pay have a lot to do with the CXXs and their paradigms more than working in a certain field/profession.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: How can I still have vacations without an academic job?
Loading...