We all want to travel. I get it. Finding the time to travel while working can be difficult, especially when you're needed in the office most of the time. We often daydream of sitting by the beach or hiking up a mountain, rather than working in our office stations.
If you're just like me who's trying to balance work and life (by that I mean traveling), it's probably not a surprise that you should always ask for permission before you travel. I do not recommend pretending to be sick because you can get caught up in your own lies and it also builds mistrust. Besides, you wouldn't enjoy your trip too because there will be a lot of online posting restrictions and not to mention the "urgent" calls you will be receiving in the middle of your "sick leave."
Having experienced being employed in the last 5 years, I am still able to travel to at least 3 countries every year and still manage to keep my job. Here are some of the things that worked best for me and may work for you too.
1. Build and maintain a good relationship with your boss
Since your boss is the only person who can approve your leaves, it pays to establish a good working relationship with your boss. Share your passion and other things that make you happy. After all, a happy employee will also drive productivity, which will also benefit the company.
2. Good performance is key
Companies will always look at your performance whether you like it or not. You are paid to work there after all. But you can only bargain for a vacation if you have performed excellently and have proven your worth to the company. Sometimes, they may even initiate that you take a breather when you've been working so hard.
3. Ask permission before booking anything
Seeing a promo ticket to whatever destination can be tempting. However, there are certain things that you have to consider before buying that ticket and that is.. yup, your job. I learned this the hard way. I was supposed to go on a diving trip with my dive group and booked a local flight as soon as I saw the prices go down. Two weeks before that trip, I found out from my boss that I have an important task I needed to do and can't be compromised. So, I ended up missing on giant mantas and sharks. There are just some things that only your boss knows so make sure to communicate any important task prior to booking.
4. Schedule your vacation months before it happens
When you communicate your plans to your boss, chances are it will be approved provided that there is enough time for the company to do some adjustments. I think it is common courtesy to inform your boss about your vacation at least a month in advance. This will allow the company to prepare whatever that needs to done in order for the processes to run smoothly while you're away.
5. Offset if possible
Throughout my stint as an employee, I work at an average of 12-14 hours every day. My corporate position does not pay me when I render overtime. And because I've shared with my boss my passion in traveling, I offset my overtime to paid vacation leaves. Not all companies are flexible though, so it's still best to communicate with your boss for other possible alternatives to convert your working time to vacation time.
6. Endorse your work properly
Once your leave has been approved, it is important to endorse to your colleagues properly by providing a checklist or guide on what you do. Not only will your colleagues appreciate this, but this will surely show your boss that you still have everything under control in spite you being away.
In case you want to break away from your 9-5 and create your own business, feel free to reach out and let me know in the comment section below. I am part of a community that teaches neat tricks and secrets in leveraging the use of social media.