Starting a new job comes with a lot of uncertainty. You will need to train in the company’s protocol, learn their culture, and start working with a strange new group of people. But there is one question on the mind of every new employee: When can you ask for vacation days?
In some ways, employers are used to it. It’s not uncommon for an employee to have already scheduled a trip or activity that requires time off. Life doesn’t always stop when someone is unemployed. But what is appropriate when it comes to asking for this kind of time off from a new employer? Here are some things it’s helpful to know.
Three-to-Six Month Rule
Unless you have something specific planned before you start, try to adhere to a three to six month rule before asking for time off. Why? Because if you take significant time off in these first months, you may miss something essential for the onboarding process. You may think it’ll be easy to catch up, but there will be internal dynamics that you can’t control for, no matter how much you plan.
Pay Special Attention to Onboarding
Speaking onboarding, the first 90 days with your new company will be the most critical time. This is where you learn not only the essentials of the job, but also the key factors of how everyone in the office works together. Your onboarding will give you the keys you need to unlock the company culture and learn to work seamlessly within the framework of your new job.
Look at the Overall Workload
Of course, there will be some other factors as well that will impact your ability to take time off after starting a new job. If you look at the overall workload, make sure that you’re being fair in your use of time off. If you feel that the workload can’t sustain a vacation right away, put off whatever plans you can. There will come a time when it is possible.
Use All Your Vacation Days
That said, don’t fall into the trap where you feel you have to be at work all the time because things won’t get done or you will be looked at as a slacker. Once you are comfortable in your role, make sure you use all the vacation time you’ve been given. Burn out is a real problem in the US workforce, so it’s critical that employees take the time off they need to recharge before returning to work.