Selena Rezvani is a leadership expert who shows TikTok users how to most effectively use their paid time off at work, among other strategies.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 21, 2022. It has since been updated.
In today's hustle culture, taking time off can be frowned upon, especially if you work in an environment where long hours are rewarded. However, at the same time, we are also being told to make time for self-care and rest. For some of us, we may feel as if taking paid time off is simply not an option. That is where Selena Rezvani comes in. She is a leadership expert, speaker and author who uses TikTok to help her viewers manage their paid time off effectively. After spending years navigating corporate workspaces, Rezvani shares her insights on mitigating the effects of toxic work environments, Bored Panda reports.
"I tell people that dedication and hard work are things to be proud of, but when we take time off regularly, we have better health, stamina and engagement at work," she said in an interview with the media outlet. "Not just that, we actually perform better and work harder." Therefore, Rezvani suggests using paid time off as a means to recharge, rather than using it only when there is a huge surplus. She also has a word of advice for companies that do not presently offer paid time off. The expert stated, "It can encourage presenteeism—where employees feel pressure to come in sick if the company doesn’t have a paid time off policy in place. If you’re leading a company that lacks PTO, you’ll suffer in finding talent: PTO is the second most important ‘perk’ to employees after health insurance."
Rezvani also offers advice to employees. In one TikTok video, she states, "For years, I took my paid time off all wrong. Here's what you should do: Regularly take your paid time off. There's no medal you'll receive for not using it. And by taking it regularly, you train your manager to see it as this consistent natural occurrence. Not some freakishly odd, rare event." The expert added that employees should not feel compelled to provide a justification for taking paid time off. "Don't justify it," she asserted. "Doing that sets this precedent that you'll share your whereabouts every time you use paid time off. You shouldn't have to do that."
While it's important to ensure your workplace has a plan for paid time off, Rezvani shared that she was wary about unlimited plans. This is mostly because they tend to be ambiguous. She said, "There are often unspoken expectations about how to use it from management. For example, what constitutes the ‘right amount’ to take? That means it’s easy for employees to violate those expectations because nothing is explicitly stated." In this regard, she cited a study that found people with unlimited plans take fewer days in a year than people with traditional plans. "Let’s be honest, unlimited paid time off is a marketing tool," the expert affirmed. "If you want to offer people a transparent, useable plan, my advice is to give people a generous and clearly stated number of days off."
Now, in addition to offering advice about how to negotiate time off, Rezvani shares various tips to use at the workplace. From how to communicate with your manager to setting healthy boundaries at work, her tips have helped hundreds of people gain greater power at work. Recalling how she would often work herself to the bone previously, she asserted that she no longer wishes to live out the expectations of hustle culture. "No more. I want to live life to its fullest," Rezvani reaffirmed. "I want to stop and see the roses, smell them, pick them, throw some petals up in the air and enjoy it along the way. I think I’ve finally embraced JOMO. The joy of missing out."