Career Advice

How to Ask For Extra Time Off

Core Job Search 16 December, 2021

Paid or unpaid vacation days aside, sometimes you just need some extra time off from work. Maybe you have a personal problem you need to deal with, a family emergency or something else. Most employers will be flexible with requests for extra time off, especially if you approach the request in the right way.

Be Forthcoming With Details

Don’t try to be all stealth about the reasons why you need extra time off. If you’re cagey about the reasons, your boss will be suspicious. Then, even if the boss does say yes, there will be a layer of distrust between you. Instead, be as open and forthcoming with details as you can. If it’s a death in the family, tell your boss who it was and what happened. If you’re dealing with a special-needs child who is struggling, let your boss know. All this can be confidential information. No one else at work needs to know the details.

Offer to Make Up Work When You Return

Be sure to offer to work extra after you get back. This lets the boss know that you’re not just shirking your responsibilities and that you’re concerned about getting work done, too. Chances are your boss will appreciate the gesture, but will simply have someone else take on the extra work in your absence.

Come Back When You Promise

When the extra time off work is over, come back on time, ready to work. Don’t come in late that first day, or come in still reeling from whatever it was you dealt with. If you need even more time, call on the phone and discuss it with your boss. Don’t just email or text.

Everyone needs extra time off of work to take care of things sometimes. If you handle the request correctly, you won't jeopardize your job in the process.