How to Successfully Ask for Time Off Work

It’s no secret that besides being a travel blogger, I am also a working professional, which means for the most part, on Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm, I am either behind a cubicle, or attending meetings at my organization.


However, every now and again, I break free from the routine, and venture into new places. I know not everyone can or want to quit their jobs to travel, and I shared these tips on how to travel while having a full time job.

In addition to that post, I thought I’ll also share just how to ask for time off work successfully.

I know making the request for time off can be a nerve wracking process for some and so I am sharing these tips (as well as a sample email template) to make it easier to get a YES to your request for time off.

Don’t feel guilty about taking time off. Remember, breaks are great and will ultimately put you in the right frame of mind to ensure you are the most productive employee you can be. — Ufuoma

If you have a full time job and need these tips, definitely continue reading.

1.) Make it known that you love to travel

If you know you’ll be traveling frequently, or once in a while, make sure you share with your boss and coworkers your love and passion for travel. If possible, talk about your travels while interviewing with the company. Don’t just say, “I love traveling”, talk about the benefits like, “I love traveling because it makes me a more knowledgeable and empowered being”. That way, your employer sees the value you may be adding to the company by traveling, and not a frivolous pastime you engage in. (Nothing wrong with that but better not to admit it in that setting.)

2.) Ask for time off in advance, if you can

It’s so important that you give ample notice before your intended departure date. While ample time is relative, I believe 6 weeks in advance is reasonable. Sometimes things come up, plans change, or you snatch up a great deal. However, when you can give ample notice, do that. That way, your employer can rest assured that things can be covered and put in place before you leave.

3.) Know when to ask

At my work place, we have certain industry events during the calendar year and I know it wouldn’t be wise to jet off during those periods. Those periods are always the busiest and even though there isn’t any written rule about not taking off then, it’s wiser not to. Don’t be the person who takes off when the stakes are high, or when they are needed the most. Try to target low seasons at work, or periods when you’re sure your departure will not leave everyone scampering around for help.

4.) Be high-performing at work

It helps to be a value-adding and contributing employee at work, if you’ll love to travel frequently. Gaining trust among your coworkers and bosses is so important as they are more likely to agree to your time off request. It is mostly seen as, “she has worked so hard, therefore she needs time off.” Add value, be productive and reliable, and you’ll more be blessed with several nods of approvals.

5.) Ask for permission, not inform

Regardless of whether or not you already snagged that flight deal, or your dates are already planned for, when asking, ask for permission. Say, “I will like to take xyz dates off” and not “I am taking xyz dates off”. Your employer has the right to decline or accept your time off, therefore it is wiser to ask as a permission. Overall, it’s just plain respectful.

6.) Ask via email if possible

Email communication is vital in the workplace, especially to serve as evidence or to keep records. Emails are convenient, so asking for time off via email is usually welcome. It is worth noting that you should consider your relationship with the person that will approve this request, and if your organization already has a pre-established protocol for taking time off.

Here’s a sample email. Feel free to modify and use.

“Dear XYZ,

I am writing to request for time off work from February 28th to March 5th. I have a family vacation coming up that I’ll like to be a part of.
While I am away, Xyz will be stepping in for me and I will be providing all the necessary documents and hand overs to ensure a smooth transition.
Please let me know if this works for you.
Thank you,
Xyz

That’s it. I hope you now have a clearer picture of how to successfully get time off work. Know that it doesn’t have to be daunting or scary. It’s all about knowing when, and how, and setting conditions to ensure you get a yes to your vacation request. Remember, you work so hard and you deserve some time off to let off steam, spend time with family, or just sit home being a couch potato. You decide.

What are your strategies for successfully taking time off work? What would you add to my list? Let’s talk in the comments.

Until next time,

 

About the author
Working Professional by day, Travel Blogger by night. Here, I share my personal life and travel experiences as well as helpful tips to help readers start their own travel journey. Want to talk? Contact me on info@theufuoma.com. Don't be a stranger!

6 Comments

  1. Absolutely love your blog. So insightful. Honeymoon coming up so my boss is well aware but still I respectfully asked out of courtesy. Thanks for the tip.

  2. These are very practical tips.I always try to find out ‘what’s in the pipeline’ for me, so I know the possible times to ask for a vacation. Sometimes, projects spring up unexpectedly and I’m forced to change plans but generally, my travel plans around public holidays tend to remain the same. My managers know I love to travel and they’re kind enough to allow me take those days off 🙂

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