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Asking for leaves this holiday season? Here’s how to go about it

The holiday season is here and we all are looking forward to soaking in the festivities. 

It should be quite easy to hit the ‘send’ button on that leave application e-mail and earn the leave you’ve been carefully saving for the whole year. And you might expect that your manager will quickly approve and see you off with a smile.

Sadly that’s not the case always. The holiday season is also a time for a reality check. A recent survey states that most Indian employees hesitate about taking leaves during the festive season while many cannot afford to ‘switch off’ even on holidays. A startling 65% of employed Indians had leftover holiday allowance at the end of the year.

While you may not be the only one who’s facing the possibility of leave-rejection, it is important to understand why you are in this situation.

Try these tips next time you’re asking for a long leave.

  • Be aware: Analyze your leave-taking history. Chances are that if you have a track record of requesting leaves at the busiest times of the year, your boss may have grown to dislike your habit.
  • Be articulate: Understand the best way to communicate your need. If an email is a sure-shot way of getting a curt rejection, gather up the courage for a frank conversation stating your leave entitlements and the fact that your absence will not hamper performance.
  • Be tactful: Repeated failed experiences at getting long leaves sanctioned? Start small by asking one day off and tag it along with a weekend to make plans.

Now consider the scenario where you have tried everything you could to reason with your boss, and it’s still not working. Maybe there is too much on your manager’s plate, which is preventing him or her from sanctioning your leave. Or maybe, a number of your colleagues have already taken leaves for the holiday season and you are the one your boss can depend on.

Here’s how you can deal with such a situation:

  • Be mindful: Instead of reacting negatively to the leave rejection, take a step back and try to get less affected by the situation. Focus on the moment rather than brooding on the past/future. Practise deep breathing and anger management techniques to get you through this difficult phase.
  • Be empathetic: Even if it is difficult for you now, try and think from your boss’s perspective. Maybe, he has deliverables where the timeline cannot be negotiated and he needs your help. It might also be the case that other employees have taken lesser leaves than you previously and now need a break during the holidays. In such situations, it makes sense to consider your colleagues’ situation too.
  • Be positive: A leave rejection is not the end of the road for you. Try out work-life balance techniques to squeeze out time for enjoyment and try and bring the festive spirit to work! Have an honest discussion with your boss in case you need to leave a little early on some days and plan how you will go about the work that needs to be completed during the holidays. With adequate planning, you might be able to spend more time with your loved ones back at home. 

Finally, if your leave gets rejected, make this an opportunity to shine as a competent and flexible employee. #HappyMonsterHolidays

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