How to request vacation days (+ Word-for-word email script)
Unsure on how to request for vacation days? This easy-to-follow guide will help you achieve your well-deserved days off.
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 and 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.
Script: A simple vacation request email
Subject: Vacation request (October 2nd through October 6th)
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?
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 they will say yes.
3. Remember how your boss was worried your work wouldn’t get done? In the last section you ease that concern by showing them 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.
To recap, here’s how to ask for time off:
- Tip#1: Send a vacation request email weeks in advance.
- Tip#2: Be friendly.
- Tip#3: Be sure to use the word “because” when explaining your reasons.
- Tip#4: Ease any concerns about finishing your projects on time.
FAQs About Requesting Time Off
Can an employer ask why you are requesting time off?
Yes they can, but an employee generally does not have to answer the question if they do not want to.
Can I ask for vacation after 3 months at a new job?
The general rule of thumb is likely to wait around three to six months. However, it strongly depends on the organization and their culture. Likewise, if you already have a trip planned, it’s a good idea to bring this up once you receive a job offer.
You can find your Dream Job with less effort
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.
Here’s how you can find your dream job, just like one of my students did- multiple times!
…but you don’t have to take the same path as everyone else. How would it look if you designed a Rich Life on your own terms? Take our quiz and find out: