Are you daydreaming of pina coladas on a sandy white beach, but know you will never get there? Are you watching your friends take vacation and wonder when you get to? Do you have weeks of vacation days saved up but haven’t taken any?  Whether you are a self-proclaimed work-aholic or feel guilty about taking time off, DON’T!

Many employers think the fear of taking a vacation is unfounded. “People need vacations” says Mark Needham of Jones, Jones & Associates, a PR firm in the Midwest. “There are certain people who just won’t take vacations and I tell them they need to for their own sanity. The only time you shouldn’t is the first 100 days of a new job. They are crucial in terms of establishing yourself within the company and getting in sync with your coworkers” he says. “You can’t gain momentum if you are not there”.

The should-I or shouldn’t-I answers lie in your own heart. If you know you consistently pull your weight and handle a great deal of responsibility, then go. “However, if you are in the bottom 20% of performers, you are at risk any time you take a vacation” says Mr. Needham. Still, he says, few people get fired for taking a few days of which they are entitled to by company policy. “If you’re going to get fired, you’re going to get fired, so you might as well take your days off and enjoy yourself“.

Hmmm. OK then, I am booking my flight to sunny paradise right now…