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How to ask for vacation days (Word-for-word email script)

Today, I want to help you write a vacation request email that will get your boss to approve your PTO without any pushback. You’ll even get something at the end of this post that can help you get an extra week or two of paid vacation.

Ramit Sethi

The holidays are coming up.

You send your boss an email asking to take a few days off for vacation. But what do they say?

“Sorry, we have too much going on. We’ll need you here.”

Today, I want to help you use your PTO vacation days without any pushback. You’ll even get something at the end of this post that can help you get an extra week or two of paid vacation using the same techniques my students use to get $43,000 raises.

But first, let’s look at how you can get your boss to say “Yes” when you ask for leave time. Starting with a word-for-word script you can use when requesting vacation time — even if it’s during a “busy time” for your company.

Script: A simple vacation request email

Subject: Vacation request (October 2nd through October 6th)

Hi Jack,

I’d like to request vacation time from Monday, October 2nd, through Friday, October 6th because I’ll be taking a family vacation over those days.

While I’m gone, I’ll be reachable by email but not phone. I’ll be making sure that we have coverage in the support queue while I’m gone, and I’ll also be distributing a playbook to my team so it’s clear who owns which issues.

Is this OK?

Thanks,

-Ramit

Now, what makes this so effective?

To answer that, let’s look at this email from your boss’s perspective.

What reasons might they have to decline your request to take vacation leave?

  • They’re worried a project you’re working on won’t get done while you’re gone
  • They don’t want your workload to wind up on their desk
  • They don’t want to run around reassigning your tasks to other people

Now let’s see how this email overcomes these objections and gets them to say “Yes” to your vacation leave request.

1. It opens with a friendly tone. Saying “I would like” is a much softer request than stating “I request” or “I’m taking this time off.”

2. The word “because” is strategically chosen as it increases compliance. Saying “because” and giving your boss a reason for the time off (no matter what the reason is) makes it more likely he or she will say yes.

3. Remember how your boss was worried your work wouldn’t get done? Well in that last section you ease that concern by showing him you’ve already thought about that. You’ve even gone the extra mile to ensure any projects you’re working on still get finished on time.

Finally, be sure to send vacation request emails weeks — even months — in advance. It’s far easier for your boss to say “Yes” when they have plenty of time to plan around your absence.

Bonus: Want more ways to build healthy habits? Check out my new Ultimate Guide to Habits.

To recap, here’s how to ask for vacation days:

  • Send a vacation request email weeks in advance.
  • Be friendly.
  • Be sure to use the word “because” when explaining your reasons.
  • Ease any concerns about finishing your projects on time.

The 80/20 Guide To Finding A Job You Love

When it comes to finding a dream job, most of us ask all the wrong questions. You could have the perfect resume, but if you’re submitting it through Monster.com, you’re still competing with thousands of other people with outstanding resumes.

  • How can you shortcut the entire job hunt?
  • How can you find out what you love — and then find jobs that let you do just that?
  • And how do you get paid what you deserve?

I decided to go in-depth and share detailed strategies, mindsets, and stories about how to short-circuit the process that so many people waste time on. And like the rest of the material on IWT, it’s been tested, refined, and optimized before it ever saw the light of day.

Though this is premium material that I could charge for, I’m making it available to you free because I want you to start thinking about how to apply IWT principles to your search for a dream job. And I know you can find one — even in this economy — in the next few months. It’s eminently possible.

Now, get the full 46-minute video…I think you’ll enjoy it.

The 80/20 Guide To Finding A Job You Love

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2 Comments

 
  1. Life Outside The Maze

    I like the general theme of the presumptive close here. No one likes to say no when all the reasons are there to say yes and the yes has been presumed. Working for a boss is a relationship and as a boss myself, I like to say yes to my employees.

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