Learn the Right Way to Ask for Time Off at a New Job

Tips for Asking for Time Off When You've Just Started a Job

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Asking for time off when you've recently started a new job can be a bit tricky because you can send the wrong message to your manager if your request isn't tactful, or made at the right time. However, if your request for time off is well thought out, you can soften any negative impact.  

How to Ask for Time off at a New Job

If you know you need time off for a vacation, or other commitment, before starting a new job, it's advisable to broach the topic before your actual start date. The best time to mention that you need time off is after you have been offered the job, but before you accept it. By being upfront about it, your supervisor knows you're not trying to take advantage of the company. And, if you communicate your needs before being offered the position, an employer will likely be understanding about your request.

Understandably, people make commitments (whether it's to friends or family) in advance of being offered a job and you would have no way of knowing when the job starts anyway.

If a need for time off arises after you have started a new job, then broaching the subject will likely be more challenging. That said, true family emergencies, deaths, and health crises are all perfectly valid reasons for needing time off. On the other hand, you'll need to prove to your new employer why you warrant time off for a vacation and another seemingly personal event. 

Whatever your unique situation is, you should share enough details with your employer about why you need time off so that your request comes across as legitimate. Whenever possible, provide documentation such as a funeral announcement and/or a doctor's note, even if your employer did not ask for it.

Plan How Your Work Will Be Covered

When you request your time off, take the initiative to present a plan exploring in detail how your responsibilities will be covered during your absence. Being proactive shows that you take your work seriously. If possible, include a pledge to work extra hours before and after your planned absence to ensure that all of your tasks are completed on time. 

If you know someone at the company or have developed a relationship with a trusted colleague, consider asking them if they'd be willing to cover for you (at least in part) while you're gone.

Or, if you have the flexibility to work remotely (at least part of the time) you can mention that as well.

When you make your request to your supervisor make sure you have all the necessary information with you. Overall, your main objective is that your employer trusts you and feels confident that all of your work will be taken care of while you're away.