Summertime means vacation time, and whether we’re talking a couple of days or a couple of weeks, you’ll probably need some days off to kick back, relax and enjoy a cold margarita…BlackBerry NOT in hand, thank you very much.
Don’t know how to ask for vacay time or fear your evil boss will just say no? Here’s a quick and simple list of how-tos.
DATES & DEADLINES: Whenever you’re considering time off, especially if it’s for an extended period of time, take a look at your calendar and consider what projects are on your plate, plus ones that could potentially pop up. Plan around those dates and be considerate. You wouldn’t want your colleague to leave you in the middle of the company’s anniversary project, right?
ASK AHEAD: Okay, obviously you wouldn’t ask your boss if you could skip town a few days before you were planning on doing so. For a long weekend or day off, give your boss at least two weeks advance notice. If you’re planning time off for a couple weeks? At least two months in advance should do the trick. Send email alerts or calendar invites to your coworkers two weeks before you take off so they/you can handle everything appropriately before you leave. Also, be sure to adhere to any company policies—paperwork, etc. that needs to be filed.
GIVE A REASON: If your boss looks uneasy about you taking a vacation, try to appeal to his/her human side and talk about the cool trip you’d like to take. Oh, and (kindly!!) remind them that your company’s vacation policy does allow you to have X amount of days off, you’ll have everything handled before you leave, you’ll leave instructions for your colleagues…. If your boss is especially difficult, you may want to send over possible dates with reasons why they might work (ex. “July 28 is three weeks before the End-of-Summer Soiree, so I’ll have plenty of time to plan!”).
DON’T BOOK BEFORE: Ask your boss and okay it 100% before you book any flights and/or finalize plans. Announcing to a higher-up that you’re flying to Ireland August 28 and it’s already booked? Yeah, not too responsible.
GET ‘ER DONE: Make sure as much as possible is done before you go, and leave a comprehensive guide for a colleague or employees who have to handle last-minute tasks of yours as they pop up. Give one or two office mates your contact information, but tell them not to contact you unless it’s an emergency or a really important question. A phone that buzzes more than the slot machines does not make for a fun Vegas trip.
CHECK IN: Check in with the office when/if you can, but don’t overly respond to emails…or else the office will assume this is a working vacation and keep pestering you.
GIVE THANKS: Thank your boss for allowing you time off and show the coworkers who pitched in while you were away some appreciation with a special treat (like saltwater taffy from your Maine excursion, fun souvenirs, etc.). A little kindness goes a long way, and hopefully they’ll treat you with the same respect when they take time off!
GIRL TALK TIME: How do you ask for time off? What are your tips for taking vacations? What do you think of ours?