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How to Ask Your Boss for a Day Off

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Everyone needs a day off now and again, no matter how devoted an employee, but you may find it hard to ask if you're in a busy or understaffed workplace. If you don't get proper approval, you may not get paid or end up with a strike against you as an employee. Plan ahead so you improve your chances of getting your day off and minimize the impact of your absence from the workplace.

Check the Rules

Employers often have rules you must follow to request time off. You may have to put the request in through an electronic system or in writing. If you have to put the request in a specific amount of time before the day off, such as two weeks, ensure that you meet the deadline. If you don't follow the company's procedures, you may not get the day off even if your boss doesn't have a problem with it.

Don't Wait

As soon as you realize you need the time off, officially address it. Waiting until the last minute or calling off will likely upset your employer because it puts pressure on everyone else. Plan on using whatever system your work has in place for time-off requests and email your superior to let him know in writing. If you think your day off will cause problems, meet with your supervisor in person to ask for the day off with a plan to head off those problems in mind.

Don't Demand

Asking for a day off as opposed to demanding it is important if you think you'll have trouble getting it approved. If you say, "I'm not coming in next Friday," you're essentially telling your superior what you're doing as if you're in charge. Saying, "I really need Friday off, so can we work it out?" puts the ball in your manager's court and shows you're considering the effect your absence may have on the workplace.

Resolve Conflicts

If your day off is going to cause a problem, find a solution before you tell your supervisor so you can present it to him when you ask. Create a plan to complete any time-sensitive projects you have due that day beforehand. Find someone to cover your spot if necessary or offer to be available by email or cell phone. Your employer is less likely to okay your time off if your absence will cause issues in the workplace, so if you find a workable solution, you'll be in a better position.


Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.

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