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After you have graduated from college, graduate or post graduate studies, one thing changes tremendously and that is your previous access to two free weeks of doing absolutely nothing (i.e- Christmas Break). Those glorious two weeks of being able to lay back on your mother’s couch, eat all the food in the house and catch up with old High School friends are just about non-existent once you become a part of the working community, especially entry level working community.

Most of my 30-something friends now opt which holiday they will take time off of work for and which one they will stay put for. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s being so close together, it is hard for most people to take so much time off to be with their loved ones. Though your two weeks may have dwindled to two days off, here are a few tips to negotiate time off from work when it is absolutely necessary for you, your family and your well-being to be intact.

Must Read: 10 Tips To Work Effectively & Still Enjoy Your Holiday Season

1) Plan Ahead: As always, you must plan in advance if you would like to vie for time off during the holidays. This includes wrapping up projects prior to the end of the year and putting in your requests far in advance with your Human Resource department. Most newly hired employees are low on the totem pole when it comes to taking additional time off other than the standard days given by the employer to every employee. However, as you continue to climb the ranks within your company, the more likely you are to getting the actual days off that you desire.

2) Save / Purchase in Advance: There is nothing more frustrating than waiting until the last minute to get your plane ticket for the holidays and it is literally the price of a small island off of the coast of Fraggle Rock. Equally as frustrating, is not having enough money to even pay for a ticket, so now you have to drive 10 hours for Christmas dinner, only to have to turn back around the next day because you don’t have any time off. Save up your money for the holiday you desire and be certain to purchase all travel far in advance to effectively search for deals.

3) Be Accommodating: A lot of negotiating amongst employees goes on when it comes to planning who will take off and on what days, especially for physicians and those working within smaller companies. A dear friend who works as an emergency room doctor is always negotiating with fellow doctors in re swapping work dates, especially during the holidays. If this is an option for you within your working capabilities, see what you can negotiate and be accommodating to other co-workers during times they need to take time off. They will in turn return the favor to you. Additionally, if you are in a significant relationship, you will soon face the daunting task of determining whose family you will be visiting with during that particular holiday. The further in advance this is discussed, the easier it will be for you to put in request for time off if you have to travel to Jamaica for Christmas.

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4) Finish Projects Ahead of Time: Manage your time effectively and be certain you finish all tasks prior to taking time off and/or asking for time off. You are less likely to receive any grief from your boss or supervisor if all of your work is completed or at least properly managed before you leave.

5) Get a Sitter: For your dog, your plants, your home, etc. You want to make certain that you have all of your personal issues taken care of before you set out for the holiday. The less clutter and disarray you leave your home and house in, the better it will be to get back into the swing of things once you return.


More Tips For The Working Woman:

The Downsides To Being Your Own Boss

Beyond the Resume: Does Your Career Story Make Sense?

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

5 Tips For The Working Woman To Take Time Off During The Holidays  was originally published on