In the typical American workplace, hard work is something to be proud of; however, an unfortunate side effect is the peer pressure to avoid taking time off. In fact, studies regularly show that Americans don’t use millions of days in paid vacation time each year.
If you work hard, you need a vacation. But because of peer pressure, a new boss or a new job situation, you may be reluctant to request time off. Below are a few easy steps to making a request in the best way possible.
1) Know the Rules
Before you start making vacation plans, consult your company’s guidelines on making time-off requests. Some companies post a schedule where employees can sign up for days or weeks off. If that’s the case with your company, make sure you sign up first, and don’t plan a vacation for a time that isn’t available.
It’s also important to know the unofficial or unspoken rules. For instance, if people don’t tend to take long vacations at your company, requesting for four weeks off will be a bit risky.
2) Consider the Workload
Consider what times work best with respect to your workload. Consider big projects that require your attention or major deadlines you must meet. If you want to take certain days off, but you’d be putting yourself in a big hole, consider taking different days off so you can meet your job goals.
Also consider the demands and workloads of your co-workers, and how your plans may impact the team. Your colleagues may not be capable of adequately covering for you during particular time frames.
3) Give Advance Notice
Even if your company has rules about lead time for vacation requests, it’s always a good idea to give your boss as much advance notice as possible.
Remember, you aren’t entitled to take vacation whenever you want. It is your boss’s responsibility to ensure the work of your team gets done, and putting a time crunch on them isn’t going to increase your chances of having your request approved.
4) Get the Timing Right
As with most things related to speaking with your boss, timing is everything when it comes to making a vacation request. Instead of making a big request when she or he is in a bad mood, make your request face-to-face on a “good day.”
If a face to face is too difficult or you work remotely, send an email request. Try to time your email for a period when you think your boss will be in a good mood.
5) Accept Final Judgment
Even with planning and good timing, a request can still be turned down for any number of reasons. Be emotionally prepared for things not to go your way.
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