So, you have vacation plans in place for the holidays and you’re also actively interviewing for jobs. Or maybe you’re looking for a summer internship next year, but also planning on spending three weeks in Europe.
Do you need to tell potential employers upfront about your plans? And if so, at what point it is appropriate to ask for the time off?
Unless you’re planning to be out for two months, or any period of time that exceeds the benefits you’re likely to receive (2 weeks typically), you don’t need to mention anything prior to the negotiation process. Why? Because you don’t have the job yet, and it’s simply not relevant until that stage in the process.
When Do You Let Them Know About Vacation Plans?
I’m not saying it’s good practice to take your new employer by surprise on the first day of duty. Instead, bring the vacation aspect into the conversation once you know the job offer is in process. That way, you’re both giving them a heads up, and putting yourself in the clear.
This means after the interview, and a conversation has taken place letting you know that they’d like to move forward with hiring you. You can say something like this:
“I’m really excited to come on board. I also wanted to let you know that I had planned some vacation/personal time at the end of August, and I wanted to ask if it would still be alright for me to take that week off. I understand it will count towards my 2 week allowance.”
Unless it directly affects your ability to jump into the new role or to hit an important deadline, chances are they will have some leniency. You will likely have to allocate that time off from your allowance. You may even end up using up your vacation time before you’ve even started. But that’s your call.
The Freelance Exception
The one exception here is if you are being hired on a contract or freelance basis, particularly for a specific project. The terms of your coming on board are usually based on a deadline. If that’s the case, you do need to let them know upfront about your availability, so that they can make a decision accordingly, and ensure the work won’t be affected.
Regardless of the circumstances, the one thing that you should never do is wait until you’re already in the job, or try to pass it off as sick time.
Transparency about vacation plans, from the get-go, will avoid any negative feelings from your new supervisor or teammates.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio.
About the Author: Dana Leavy founded Aspyre Solutions, focusing on small business development and career consulting. Her mission is to support creative and socially-conscious small businesses. She also offers career transition coaching and business consulting.
Dana has helped hundreds of professionals execute effective career plans to find and DO the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities. Her advice is featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay, CareerBuilder.com, GlassDoor and About.com. Follow Dana on Twitter!