When to Negotiate Your Vacation Schedule

Everybody wants more time off, but what most people don’t realize is that you can negotiate for more paid vacation just as you would a pay raise.  If you are reasonable with your request and you can prove your worth to the company it is likely that your boss will consider your request.  If you want to negotiate for more vacation, you need to be strategic about the timing of your request.  Here are a few times that are most ideal for negotiating additional vacation.

During the Hiring Process

While there is no wrong time to negotiate for more vacation days, it tends to get harder if you have been at your job for a while.  Your manager has been able to offer you this vacation package for a period of time with no problems and might be less likely to reconsider it.  On the other hand, if you negotiate for more vacation right from the start, you tend to have a little more power.  When a company has decided that they want to hire you and they are in the process of enticing you, they are more open to accommodating your requests.

During a Performance Review

If you are trying to negotiate more vacation time in your current job, it makes sense to do it during a performance review or evaluation.  This provides you with a natural opening to the conversation where you and your boss are already reflecting on and discussing your performance.  This is an ideal time to bring up any concerns you might have including your desire for more vacation time.  Use your performance review as an opportunity to show your value to the company and ask to be rewarded with a few extra vacation days.

Right After You Successfully Completed a Project

It might be that your annual performance review isn’t for another six months but you don’t want to wait to ask for more vacation time.  In this case, it is important to time the negotiation right.  Wait until right after you have successfully completed a big project and then go to your boss with the request.  Bring evidence to support your achievements and be prepared to prove your value to the company.  Your boss is likely to be pleased with the recent project you have completed and might be more open to negotiating extra vacation time as a reward for a job well done.  

Anytime You Have Leverage

The best time to negotiate anything is when you have leverage in the discussion.  You have the most leverage when your manager sees you as a valuable asset to the company.  This is one reason why it is always best to ask for more vacation time right from the start during the hiring process.  If the manager already sees you in the job, they are more likely to negotiate benefits to entice you.  Likewise, if you have been performing well and exceeding expectations at work, your manager will see just how much value you bring to the company and might be willing to show their appreciation and dedication to you by giving you more vacation time.    In any case, more vacation time will not just be given to you.  You have to ask for it.  Therefore, wait until the time as right and don’t hesitate to negotiate for additional time off.