How to Ask for a Leave and Get it

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Meetings after meetings, hours after hours of staring into your laptop the only thing that keeps you going are pictures of Goan beaches or maybe dreaming of a trip back to your hometown. The only obstacle between you and your plans is ‘the boss’. In all the years of being an employee asking for leaves has been the second most stressing thing, being only second to of course doing the work.

Now in any organisation there are 18 days of Annual earned leave, 7 days of casual and 7 days sick leaves, adding up to a total of 32 days. Not bad, huh! So how does one go about availing them? Here are some pointers.

1. Honesty is the best policy:

More often than not a lie is caught. You don’t want to land up in your boss’s bad books. Go with the truth! Or atleast don’t stray far from it. Bosses have a way of sensing lies, a skilled honed over the years they have been in the business. So, more ease with which you are able to convince your superior into believing that your very existence depends on you taking these leave the better chances you have of getting them.

2. You have rights, know them well:

Being well aware of your employment contract clauses and company policies is vital even when it comes to taking leave of absence. If you are entitled to a certain number of leaves in a year and you have leaves in your kitty the chances of your boss refusing you are minimal. He might try to convince you to not take them or maybe ask you to postpone them but he cannot do anything more and if you still go ahead with your plans it won’t jeopardize your employment.

3. Plan ahead:

It’s that time of the year again, festivals and time to be with your loved ones, problem is everyone wants leaves at the same time. Plan way ahead! You beat the herd. This gives your boss ample time to chalk out his work and rearrange and re-strategize his resources while you are away. A month ahead for a weekend getaway and two months before you plan a longer holiday seems like a reasonable time frame. The only time you would probably survive giving a sudden shock to the boss is in a ‘life and death’ situations at the home front. Nothing less would convince the boss mind you. Here a good memory is very vital; you cannot kill the same aunt or uncle twice.

4. Gentle reminder:

A gentle reminder to the boss a week or so before you go on your trip is a good idea. You might have been dreaming of your trip day in and day out but the chances are they might have completely slipped from your boss’ mind. No harm in reminding. Slip it in a casual conversation or maybe during a personal one on one. If there is priority work that needs your attention you will be able to get that done on time.

5. Windup you work:

Meet the targets you have been given, complete the tasks delegated to you before you go. If possible do the work you foresee coming your way as well. Not only do you leave with an easy mind, your boss has no reason to stall you. And to be very honest, if you don’t take care of your work the company will not acknowledge you needs. If you are an individual contributor you might be in a sticky situation being the sole person responsible for your work but if you are part of a team then delegating work and co-ordinating well with your fellow teammates can work in your favour.

6. Ask nicely:

You might dream of storming into your supervisor’s office banging your fist on his table and announcing your holiday plans, however appealing that might sound it only works in television commercials. In real life being polite and professional is a much better option. Remember end of the holiday you still have the same boss to work for. Maintaining a good employee- boss equation creates a healthy environment. When you extend courtesy your boss will be forced to reciprocate the same way.

7. Get it on record:

The world seems to have taken a turn for the informal ways , but even today it is best advised to ensure that application submitted and approval obtained are on the record.

8. Accessibility while you are away:

Set the expectations beforehand regarding your accessibility during your time away from work. Will you be available on the phone or email? Will you be off the grid the entire time? Make sure to inform your boss and your teammates. Always set ‘out of office’ reminder for the convenience of your colleagues as well as your clients.

9. Keep the promise:

Join back office on the day you have promised. Extending your leave even by a day can throw other people’s schedule off track. Boss won’t be happy! Unless of course there are unavoidable circumstances that deter you. Always inform your boss and teammates about the delay. Keeping these few things in mind is a sure way of getting your leaves approved. Have a fun trip.

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