time off

It’s summertime and even though you are excited about your new job, you can’t help but feel pangs of jealousy as you scroll through your Facebook feed.  While your friends are getting tan on the beach and sipping fruity drinks, you are spending your days in an office and already daydreaming of your next vacation.  Before you start booking tickets to a tropical island, here are some things to consider.

How Soon is too Soon?

Even though you are anxious to hit the beach, you should hold off until you have established yourself in the company as a hardworking and dedicated individual.  Treat the first three months with a new company as your probationary period.  During this period, work hard to prove your work ethic to your employer and coworkers.  Your employer is more likely to accept your time off request once you have shown that you can handle your new position and your training has been completed.

Timing is Everything

When it comes to planning a vacation from your new job, timing is everything.  The last thing you want to do is leave during your company’s busy season.  The best way to avoid this is by having conversations with your coworkers and your boss.  To get the conversation started, you can simply say, “I am thinking about planning a vacation in the next few months, and I wanted see if there are any dates I should avoid”.  By having this conversation, you are demonstrating your commitment to the position by not leaving during a time that is sure to be busy.

Make a Plan

Before asking your boss for time off, make sure that you’ve done your research and have a plan in place so that your time off doesn’t have a negative impact on your coworkers or the company.  You should be well versed in your company’s PTO policy before approaching your boss to make sure that you have enough time accrued and that your vacation fits within the PTO policy’s timeline.  If your PTO isn’t enough, make sure to tell your employer that you are willing to take the time off unpaid.  If needed, find someone who is willing to fill in for you.  Also, make a plan to complete your work before your vacation. Your employer will appreciate you making a plan to ensure that everything runs smoothly while you are gone, as well as doing your own research about the company’s policies.

Popping the Question

Now that you have waited a few months, discussed the right time of year to take a vacation with coworkers, and made a plan for your absence, it is time to discuss your vacation plans with your boss.  Don’t ask for time off on a Monday morning when your boss is busy trying to answer emails and prepare for the week; instead, wait until they have a free minute to talk to you.  It is also important to remember to ask, rather than tell them that you would like to take a vacation.  Saying, “I was thinking about using vacation days next month, would this work for you and the rest of the team”, will go over much better than telling them that you have already purchased tickets.

Send a Reminder

Make sure to send your boss and any coworkers affected by your time off a reminder about a week before you leave.  In this reminder, make sure to communicate the work that you are finishing before you leave as well as instructions for anyone who may be filling in for you.

Out of Office (Finally)

Once it’s finally time for you to leave on your vacation, make sure to set your out of office reply for clients or coworkers who may be looking for you while you are on the beach tanning.  Don’t forget to include when you be returning to the office and who to contact if they require immediate assistance.


Requesting time off may seem difficult (especially when you are new), but with planning and communication it is possible to take a vacation from your new job.