I wonder how many survey responders watch their managers struggle and/or fail because they weren’t prepared for management. Why would we be surprised that so many are happy not to bring that upon themselves?
The interesting thing about this is the fact that there’s a lack of confidence in the employer because I think many employers brought that on themselves. Layoffs might make the financials look good with that cut in expenses, but they are also an admission that management screwed up. When your management screws up and people have to be let go, the ones who are left behind don’t see company leadership in a sparkly light.
If you want to challenge yourself to learn something deeply, start figuring out how you would train someone to do it. If your employer doesn’t have an opening for a full-time trainer, create some opportunities to cross-train with your team, to reach out across teams and help teach them some of your skills, or to introduce them to some new technology that is coming. The skills you develop with come in handy, and you’ll be showing off some serious leadership skills as well, something that is probably in short supply in your industry. It is in most, anyway.
If you work somewhere that this is an issue, it might not be you. It could very well be the workplace. A workplace that can’t keep right on rolling when one of the team is on PTO is a workplace that hasn’t planned staffed or done talent development well. A workplace that is truly looking out for the well-being of its employees would not leave anyone in a situation where taking a break is more stressful than not taking one.