You're on the hunt for a new job and after sending out dozens of applications and participating in several interviews, you've finally received a job offer. Though you are really excited about the notion of starting a new job, you're not quite ready to give them your "yes." And that's because you already had a vacation planned, which will take place after starting your new job.
Of course, if you had known you'd be in the market for a new job, then you probably would have held off on booking a trip. But, now that this trip is booked, there's no reason to necessarily cancel it. Instead, you'll have to find a way to tell your new employer that you already had a trip planned, but you still want to go forward with the offer. This can be hard to do, but it's been done before.
Mention in the Job Interview the Upcoming Vacation
Before you've even been offered a job, you may be wondering if it's worth it to mention your upcoming vacation in the interview. While it's very considerate that you want to be as forthcoming as possible, the reality is that the job interview is not the best time to bring up your vacation. This can make the company more likely to hire someone who is not going on vacation or can start right away, and it may make them feel that you care more about your trip than landing a new job.
Say Your Vacation When Discussing Start Dates
If you're insistent on mentioning your vacation during the interview process to avoid any problems, then it's best to wait until you are in the final interview round to do so. By this point, it's quite certain that you will be hired and this last interview is usually more to discuss logistics and more importantly, start times. If your interviewer brings up starting dates, then that is the perfect segue into letting them know about your vacation.
At this point, you can say something along the lines of, "I know you mentioned that you wanted to know how soon I can start. Several months ago, I booked a flight for my (honeymoon/friend's wedding/sister's baby shower) and I wanted to let you know. I can start work as soon as I return on (date)."
Mention the Vacation Upon Job Offer Acceptance
If you're worried about telling the company about your vacation plans while you're still in the interview process, then you can wait until you receive an official job offer from the company instead. By now, there's a very good chance that they won't withdraw your offer based on the news that you tell them. And, if they do, then it wasn't a good fit anyway, especially if you're unable to reschedule or cancel your vacation.
That being said, there are a few ways to go about letting them know. First and foremost, you should contact them in an appropriate manner. If most of your correspondence has been over the phone, then set up a call to talk, and if it has been mostly over email, then you can let them know over email. While it can be hard to find the correct wording, it's best to just get it out of the way in as little wording as possible.
Look at some "pre-planned vacation with a new job" email samples to get you started:
- "Thank you so much for sending over this offer. I have signed all the materials and attached them to this email, but I forgot to mention my vacation during the interview." Then, continue to tell them the dates you'll be gone and when you'll be ready to start. Of course, you should apologize for the inconvenience.
- "I'm very excited to hear that you'd like me to join your company! I'd be ready to start ASAP, but I do have a vacation booked that I planned a few months ago. If you'd like me to start right away, then please let me know how I can make a time-off request. Otherwise, I can start (date). Again, it's helpful to let them know why you are traveling (if it's for a special occasion) and that you apologize for the inconvenience.
When Your Vacation is Several Months Away
In some ways, it's easier to mention that you had a pre-planned vacation around the time of the last interview. It's even easier when the company initiates the conversation about start times and you can work it out with the company. But, what if your vacation is a few months out?
On one hand, you can wait until you already start working and you're in the flow of things. But, if you want to avoid the stress of worrying about when to tell your new employer, then it might be best to get it over with now. This way, you can be sure that you'll be granted the time off with no issues, and you can start your new job with peace of mind.
Saying something along the lines of, "I know it may be too early to let you know, but I felt it was the right thing to do to tell you that I have a trip planned in a few months. I hope this won't be an issue and I am happy to use my vacation time towards this, or whatever you think is best!"
Other Tips About Pre-Planned Vacations
When accepting a job offer, there are other tips you can follow to make telling the new job about a pre-planned vacation a little bit easier. If you're really concerned about how to tell them, then you can always look up additional tips online. For example, search "planned vacation new job Reddit." Reddit is a great resource because it's a forum of people who have been in your shoes at one point.
Finally, remember that you are not working for the company yet. Instead of asking them about your vacation, you are telling them, which is a major difference. But, you should still be sensitive in how you say it, and make it clear that the job is your priority.
The quicker you get this out of your system, the better you'll feel. Then, you'll have a new job and a vacation. Though, keep in mind that it can be hard to start a new job when you have a vacation already planned.
What Happens if the Company Says No?
Technically, a company cannot tell you "no" if you tell them about your vacation upon accepting a job offer. However, they can theoretically tell you that they will have to go with another candidate, instead. The good news is that this is highly unlikely, especially if you've already gone through a rigorous application and interview process and they've decided to choose you. You are probably not the first prospective employee that has a vacation pre-planned, either.
These days, companies are striving to implement a healthy work/life balance by allowing their workers to take paid vacation time guilt-free. However, society is making this shift gradually, and not all employees are yet on board. Aside from them pulling your offer (again, highly unlikely), the worst thing they may do is suggest that you take the vacation unpaid. While this isn't ideal, you have to look at it from the company's point of view and how, usually, most people limit their vacations in the first six months on a new job.
If anything, their reaction can give you a taste of what it will be like to work with the company when you want to take time off down the road.