Would You Ask For More Vacation Days At a New Job?

New data reveals people aren't negotiating their vacation days. Here's how you can.

Fabian Krause / EyeEm/ Getty Images
Fabian Krause / EyeEm/ Getty Images

Have you ever negotiated the details of your job offer when accepting a new position? Have you asked for more vacation days? According to a new poll released by online employment network Monster, most people tend to shy away from contract negotiations.

The recent survey, which looked at the habits of 4600 employed people in different fields, asked participants, “Were you able to negotiate your vacation days at your current job?” The results showed that 19% of participants answered, “Of course,” 29% responded “Nope, but I tried,” 21% said they did not try and they regret it, and 31% said they were just happy to get hired.

Whether you’re naturally introverted or more inclined to speak up, negotiating vacation days can seem daunting when you’re first accepting the offer. After all, you just went through the interview process, and you want to put your best foot forward when starting out in your new position. Negotiating can be tricky, but it’s especially important to make sure to prioritize time off in a new job, so here are some tips from career expert Vicki Salemi about what to do (and what not to do.)

Step one? “Make it a priority,” Salemi says. “This sounds like a no brainer, but based on the survey results, half of job seekers didn’t negotiate prior to accepting their job offer–while some regret it and others were simply just trying to get a job offer, this is definitely something you can pursue and potentially succeed at negotiating.”

Doing some planning also goes a long way when it comes to your ask. “Know ahead of time what you’ll ask for,” Salemi suggests. “If you ask for three additional weeks, it’ll be game over before it began. If you ask for an additional five to seven days or so, that’s more realistic.”

You should also make sure you make the changes official. With internal company changes, you never know if you can end up with a different manager, so Salemi recommends going a step further than the initial handshake. “You should ask for it in writing,” Salemi says, “even if it’s a simple one-line email from the hiring manager to you or added to the offer letter.”

There’s no doubt that negotiating vacation days at a new job can be intimidating, but keep in mind that how you start out in a new position can set the tone for your future role at the company, and for your state of well-being. While we move the workplace conversation toward one that values well-being and mental health, it’s important to put your own effort into the process, instead of relying on management to enforce the healthy habits that start with your own intentions. 

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