Wouldn't it be cool if for just a few days out of each year, we could really just hit "pause" and everyone take a day off? I mean everyone; on the same day. Can you imagine it? You probably wouldn't want to. Think beyond Walmart being closed. How about no gas stations, no hotels or restaurants open? No police or fire rescue available. No hospitals?
Obviously, that is not happening any time soon. I feel pretty thankful that I have the opportunity to take some time off on most legal holidays because, for me, it has not always been that way. There was many a Thanksgiving dinner I missed in my 20's and 30;s because I was scheduled to work. Many of those family members I would have spent that time with are now gone.I'll admit, I really hated working any holiday back then.
If you are one of the many that must work today, let me be the first to thank you. Whatever it is that you are doing, you surely must support something that keeps this crazy world we live in going.
This year, my schedule is pretty flexible. I am working "a little" by choice but from the comfort of my own sofa. Earlier this week, I asked a few friends that were working on Thanksgiving how they felt about it. Did it bother them? Was it as bad as I remember? Surprisingly, most said no. A few even liked it. Here's why:
One of my friends is a divorced mom. She's off on holidays, but her new husband, a correctional officer, has to work. She told me that her family adapts. They make the best of the situation by just moving the event up a day. An added benefit in these years that it gives her kids time to spend with their dad's side of the family.
My cousin who works in a local factory told me that he actually volunteers for holiday work. Why? Because he gets paid 8 hours holiday pay plus time and a half! "The bottom line is that working on Thanksgiving means more gifts under my family's tree for Christmas and it is worth it!" I 1was particularly fond of his reasoning!
Several people that told me they would be working today were those that worked in healthcare or public service positions. These folks seem to take working in holidays in stride and understand that it is just part of the career they chose. They celebrate with those they work with or to serve either at work (carry-ins,etc.) or after their shift. "It doesn't really feel like a sacrifice to work on a holiday when you are saving someones life, caring for a sick child, or fighting a fire.
They Avoid the Travel Hassle
Travel around the holidays can be chaotic. I have a friend from high school that used to work a few holidays every year from home. She's not working this year, but she said she never really minded work on the holidays because she had a remote position so she was still at home. She worked her business into the turkey cook time and was still able to watch the parade on T.V. "Sometimes I liked the excuse of working Thanksgiving," she told me, "...it got us out of traveling if we didn't feel like it!"
I was impressed by everyone's positive sentiments about working the holidays. It put a fresh perspective on it for me. I'm thankful I don't have to work on Thanksgiving, but I sure do appreciate all of you that do!
Amy McDonald is the President and CEO at REKRUTR. She has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals throughout her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. In her spare time, Amy participates as a thought leader and contributor for recruitment information with BIZCATALYST360.