You just started a new job, so taking a vacation at any point in the near future is completely out of the question, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Of course it would look bad to take time off immediately after starting. But you also don’t need to wait forever.
“People typically feel that asking for vacation time before they have mastered their new position may have an adverse effect on the next performance review,” says Teri Hockett, chief executive of What’s For Work?, a career site for women. But new employees usually wait way longer than they need to before taking their first vacation.
So exactly how long should you wait before taking time off from your new job?
That will depend on your specific role, your employer, and your industry, among other things — but experts suggest you wait at least three months.
“In most cases it is recommended to wait three to six months before taking a vacation, as this is an integral time for assimilation, training, and development in any new position,” Hockett explains. “Additionally, the first three months is typically a ‘probationary period’ where you want to demonstrate your commitment and value to the company, without planting any seeds of doubt.”
When you are ready to approach your new boss with a vacation request, first take into consideration the impact your time off would have on your coworkers, the details of the vacation, and how much vacation time you have accrued, Hockett says. “And always ask your colleagues about the company culture regarding time off, and speak with your boss about when the best timing from a project and company perspective would be for your vacation.”
If you have any vacation scheduled prior to the job offer, you should mention that when you’re accepting, Hockett says. “Companies are more likely to be understanding when you ask for your planned time off during the offer negotiation phase than if you wait until after you’ve started.”
Being upfront about your request will allow them the benefit of planning appropriately, and give you the opportunity to not accept the job offer if your request is denied and your vacation schedule is non-negotiable — for instance, if you need to take time off for your wedding or honeymoon, she says.
“Ultimately, you want to be considerate when requesting time off, whenever you decide to do it — and you should always get a better sense of the culture at your new company before making any plans,” Hockett concludes.
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