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Photo of woman on beach to illustrate "Can you negotiate vacation time?"

When was the last time you actually took a two-week vacation? The culture around taking time off has gotten worse and worse in America, but thankfully, things are changing.

Salary and benefits used to be the only thing people worried about when looking for a good job, but many workers realize that having enough vacation time to actually take a vacation, as well as take a few days off here and there, is not just a luxury but a necessity.

Yes, you can negotiate for more vacation time. Here are a few tips to do so:

How Can You Negotiate Vacation Time?

Assess the Company’s Culture 

When looking for new employment, it’s important to find out as much about the company culture as you can. The reasons are manifold. Finding out if a place is a good fit for you overall is the most important, but if you intend to negotiate more vacation time than they offer, you’ll also want to know if the culture expects long hours and looks down at employee’s who take over one week off—or any amount of time.

If you work in an industry where overtime is not only expected but mandatory, you probably won’t have much success asking for more vacation time.

But if you’re joining a relatively young company that’s trying to find its bearing, you may negotiate extended vacation time down the road, once the company’s future looks stable.

Be Positive and Professional

Go in with a friendly attitude and no matter how much this is a deal breaker, don’t have an expectant attitude. If you don’t get what you want, it could put you and them in an antagonistic mood.

You never know, they could sit on it overnight and realize that this is something they can work with you on—especially if you’re the right fit for the company.

Have a Number in Mind

Asking for extra vacation time and then putting it on them to determine how much they’re willing to give won’t work. If they are willing, but only give you an extra day, it’ll look bad if you counter with a higher number.

So know how much vacation time you realistically need in a year. But make sure you’re not asking for too much too soon. An extra week of vacation is reasonable. 

Want help with negotiation?

Working with one of ICR’s recruiters will give you the edge when negotiating compensation, benefits, and vacation in a new job. Start your job search with us today!

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