Taking a vacation when you don’t have enough vacation time
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Summer is a great time for a new job. From new grads looking to put their foot in the door to seasoned professionals just waiting for the summer to move their family across the country for an amazing opportunity, summertime is a great time to transition.
Unfortunately, it is also a great time to take a vacation. For new employees at any level, this can be a challenge. Here are a few things to consider when trying to take a vacation without enough vacation time.
Whether moving across the country or across the street to a new job, it is always good to start refreshed and ready. This commonly happens in one of two ways.
The first is to take time before starting the new job after giving notice. The second is taking vacation after starting; something that commonly happens in the summer months when vacations tend to be planned well in advance.
In both cases, clear communication is key. For example, when discussing the start date, be firm about the time needed before starting. The new employer will assume two weeks’ notice and legitimately assume a start date immediately following. Do not let them assume: provide a specific start date that incorporates time off.
Similarly, if a vacation has already been planned, mention it during the negotiation. This is important for many reasons.
First, it requires clarification of the vacation policies upfront; it is just as common for an employer to allow unlimited vacation for leaders as it is for an organization to forbid time off within the first 90 days.
Second, the feedback and response to the request can provide valuable insight into the culture within the organization and the perspective of leadership on time away.
Third, depending upon the answer, it is possible we will have additional financial considerations. For example, if the new employer requires us to take the time without pay or borrow the time, it would be good to figure that into the negotiation conversation before the offer is accepted.
Similarly, those who are relatively new may not have accrued enough time to go on vacation. In such cases, a combination of vacation, holiday, weekend, personal, sick, and unpaid leave may do the trick. In other words, get familiar with all the policies related to time off and figure out a way to maximize them for longer weekends.
For example, an afternoon doctor’s appointment before the Fourth of July, followed by a personal day and a request for a half vacation day on Monday morning is a good amount of time away with a minimal deduction of vacation time. The key to optimizing these types of creative approaches is to be upfront and honest with the boss to ensure she understands and approves of the approach.
The bottom line is that this is a great time of year to get away from the office. It is possible to do this even for new employees without vacation time, as long as there is a little planning upfront.
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