The Right Way to Ask for Time Off
A new job can be both exciting and stressful. Along with the opportunity to demonstrate new skills comes the responsibility of navigating a new environment and all that goes along with it. One of these things is navigating the logistics of paid time off. While most of us assume time off is one of the perks of a job, organizations are not legally bound to provide paid time off (PTO). Luckily, most companies provide some benefit in the form of 1-4 weeks of vacation earned with tenure or unlimited vacation in others.
If you’re in the enviable position of interviewing for a new job, you may be wondering how to navigate the question of paid time off policies for new employees. This is a potentially sensitive subject, one best asked later in the process, and preferably not at an initial interview. Since paid time off is often included in a benefits package, it’s reasonable to inquire about vacation and other benefits when it’s time to weigh the options of an offer.
Typically, the first few months on the job is the time to establish yourself in your role. If you’re not present, how can people get to know you and understand your role in the organization?
To determine the most opportune time for PTO, it can be helpful to observe the company culture during this period. As a new employee, requesting time off when you’ve just joined an organization is not proper etiquette. The exception to this, is if you had a trip booked prior to accepting the position. In this case, it’s considered good etiquette to let the hiring manager know of your plans when accepting the position. This is a courtesy that demonstrates you’re already looking after the interests of your new employer.
Making the Ask
Asking for time off in a new organization can be intimidating for anyone. To prep for the occasion, start by getting to know the ebb and flow of the business. Are there particular times when things are busier or slower? Choosing a quieter, less-busy time is better than when employees are in high demand. If you haven’t been in the company long enough to know, don’t hesitate to ask the hiring manager or a new peer about the best times to be gone. Once you determine a good time to be out, send an email to request couple of minutes on the boss’s calendar to discuss PTO.
Tips for a Successful Leave
- Once approved, document time off on the office Outlook calendar or specified platform.
- Meet to determine what tasks need to be done prior to leaving.
- Identify a co-worker to serve as backup on tasks during the absence.
- Ask if there’s a need to check email or answer work-related emergency calls during vacation.
- Enjoy the time off to maximize relaxation and enjoyment.
Remember, vacation is not only a great way to recharge, it’s also a good way to maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you’re offered the benefit of paid time off, make the most of it!