How to negotiate for more vacation time at work

Would you be surprised if we told you that it is possible to negotiate for more vacation time? If your answer is affirmative, don’t worry, you are not the only one who was living in the dark. Millions of people from around the world let their free days go to waste one year after another, only to later complain that the stress is getting to them.

Don’t let yourself be a part of this group! Still, it’s better to arm yourself with knowledge first, before even going to your boss to ask for this favor. Here are some of the simplest tactics you can use to get what you’re hoping for.

Always come in prepared

Have you ever asked your boss for a raise? In case you’re working in the same position for over 3 years and still haven’t done it, you’re doing something wrong. However, in case you have, then you’re not new to these “difficult” conversations. Asking for more vacation time is basically the same as wanting to get a raise; you’ll have to offer some good reasons for why you think you deserve it.

With that in mind, it’s not difficult to understand why a good preparation is half the battle. Try to present your work in the best possible limelight, so that you might soften up your bosses and help them understand your value to the company. Once this happens, move on to a different phase, where the ultimate goal should be to explain why granting you with more vacation time would benefit the company.

When we say it like this, it might seem like a tall task, but take one fact into consideration. Your bosses and human too, and chances are that they’ve walked in your shoes at one point. At the very least, what’s the worst that can happen? Getting a “no” for an answer? That doesn’t seem too bad, right?

Don’t be greedy

In case you already have 20 free days per year, don’t get crazy ambitious and ask for two more weeks, or you might be preparing yourself for a huge disappointment. Don’t get us wrong, it’s nice to have a goal you can aspire to, but it’s never good to be unrealistic about it either.

Furthermore, if you are able to only wiggle out an extra day or two, let your bosses know that you are willing to do them a favor now, but that you’ll be expecting to talk about it again in 6 months’ time. By giving them a chance to revisit it later, you’ll be providing them with a safety net, while also putting yourself in the best possible position to capitalize after some time passes.

Focus on negotiating when applying for a job

Most of us do whatever we can to lower our expectations as much as possible when talking to our potential employers. We do that because of the fear that we might begin to sound too needy, which will force them to choose a different candidate instead. Additionally, we rely on further negotiations, which will happen in a few months, when we plan to ask for a raise, more vacation time and a better office.

Guess what, when that time finally comes, we are usually forced to choose only one of those things and it’s usually the vacation time that’s the hardest to get. While you might’ve made this error now, take this knowledge and apply it to your next business opportunity.

In case you simply decide to be as honest as possible with your employer right from the start, you will let them know that you’re not a pushover. Quite the opposite in fact. You are a reliable worker who expects to be awarded with some more of that precious vacation time for your efforts and you damn deserve it! Just try not to think about it too much and approach the situation with an open mind. You might be surprised with the positive outcome at the end of the day.


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