While more employers will allow you to have a day or two off here or there throughout the year, if you’re needing to take some major time off, it can be hard to know when or how to speak to your boss about this. But when something happens, whether it’s your parents who need extra care or you’re about to bring home a new baby, being able to take the time you need to get things done and then having a job to go back to can be a real blessing.
To help you in achieving this, here are three tips for talking to your employer about taking major time off from work.
Know Exactly What You Should Ask For
Before you go into this conversation with your boss, it’s good to know exactly what you’re asking for and what your protections are under the law.
According to Alison Doyle, a contributor to The Balance Careers, many companies are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which means that employees can take time off for their families and continue to have job security. While this time won’t always be paid, it does mean you’ll be able to take the time you need without having to give up your job. In other instances, you may want to ask for a leave of absence or simply ask to take all of your time off in one big chunk. By having a plan for what you’ll ask for, it will make things more concrete for both you and your boss to figure out.
Don’t Spring It On Them
In some instances, you may be asking for this time off because something happened out of the blue. But if it’s at all possible, Michele Herrmann, a contributor to The Muse, recommends that you try to give your employer as much notice as possible before you need to take time off.
For emergencies, this likely can’t be done. But if you know you’re going to be having a baby in the next year or you’ve seen the health of your loved one start to decline, you might want to give your boss a heads up that, while things might be fine now, any changes might require you to need some time off.
Ask For A Mutually Beneficial Agreement
While you may have come into the conversation with a plan or what would be ideal for you, Jordana Valencia, a contributor to the Harvard Business Review, suggests that you ask your employer if they would like to collaborate with you to find a solution that’s mutually beneficial. Sometimes, this might be working remotely on occasion or checking in on a regular basis while still stepping away from bigger responsibilities. And although this may not be exactly what you want, compromising might be the best way to find a time-off strategy that works for everyone.
If you’re going to be needing to ask your employer for some major time off, consider using the tips mentioned above as you broach this topic.