How To Take A Vacation Without Losing Your Job

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Take a vacation without losing your job.Most experts preach the importance of taking a vacation. And there are plenty of studies showing it's good for your health, productivity and creativity.

But in America, most of us are limited to two weeks paid vacation. And most of us don't take even that in large part because we fear for our jobs, according to research.

Is that warranted? Unfortunately, it can be -- if you're not careful. Before you book your winter holiday vacation, take these precautions:

1. Don't go away during crunch periods.
Some bosses have blackout times for vacations because they can't afford to have employees away during their busy seasons. If you respect this, you will show loyalty and conscientiousness. If you have a family event, like a wedding, to attend, be sure to give your boss ample warning, so you and he can both plan how to handle your absence.

2. Don't go away too soon after you're hired.
Many companies don't allow new employees to take a vacation for the first six to eight months on the job. Even if your employer doesn't have that rule, it's not a good idea to be out of the office too much too soon. Prove your value before you go away. If you have a pre-planned vacation or special event booked months before your hiring, make sure to negotiate the time away before you start the job.

3. If budget cuts or layoffs are looming, take a long weekend instead. If your company is looking for ways to cut back, now is a good time to be seen and heard regularly on the job. If you're out of the office for a two-week stretch, or even a week, you could find yourself factored out of decision-making. It's important to be in the office and visible so that you're still in the mix and regarded as indispensable. And if times are really tough and all hands on deck are required to keep the organization afloat, then banking the days for when the business is more solvent could help you keep your job.

Yes, it's important to take the time off you have earned -- just plan for it wisely knowing the inner workings of your organization.

Are you planning to take a vacation soon? How is your employer handling vacation time in your office?

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