Don’t be a jerk. Dos and don’ts of asking for time off from work

Amber Shiflett |
Categories: Working

Picture this: your squad has just decided they want to take a fun road trip next month. Naturally, you're invited. The only problem is, you know you have to work. Like most things in life, there's a right way and a wrong way to ask for time off. I'm no stranger to asking for time off and over the years I have picked up a few easy dos and don'ts.

Dos and don'ts of requesting time off:

Don't wait until the week of to let your boss know about the road trip you've planned--even though you had a month to tell them. As soon as the plans are made you should put in your time off request. This gives your manager time to arrange the schedule without you.

Give your boss at least two weeks notice when asking for time off. Every company is different so follow your company's policy for time off requests. I recommend putting your requests in writing. This way both you and your manager have all of the details to refer to later.

Seriously. Whatever you do, don't just walk up to your manager during a busy shift and ask. This makes you look unprofesh and can result in an instant no. And let's face it, a busy shift is a terrible time to ask for anything.

Make it easy for your boss to say yes to your request. Help out by lining up coworkers who are willing to cover your shifts while you're out. This makes it easier on your boss and increases your likelihood of getting your time off approved.

Whether you're planning time off for a road trip with the squad, homecoming or any other event, be realistic. Don't expect to get all of your time off requests approved automatically. And if it's a busy time of year, remember it can be hard to get off, even if you follow all this advice.

If you're willing to compromise and be flexible, it can go a long way. For example, if your work is short-staffed the day you're planning to leave for your trip, you could offer to work then and plan to leave a day later. This shows you're a team player and your boss will remember that for future requests.

Short version--be flexible, ask in advance when your boss isn't busy and bring a coverage plan. By following these simple dos and don't you could make your squad road trip a reality.