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A personal day for you

When stress gets the best of you, don't think twice about taking a personal day.


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Home Career Advice Blog. Paid time off isn't just a benefit to be used for weeks at the beach; it's also there for you to use when you need a one-day break from work to reboot. And there's no shame in needing to take a PTO day to refresh and re-energize. After all, when you re-energize, you increase your productivity.

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The whole truth and nothing but the truth… about taking time off by using personal days. Every new job comes with its own benefits. Vacation you, sick time, personal time — that's enough to make anyone's head spin! Each company has its own rules about taking time off, paid time off policy, manuals and for in which they apply and enforce them. Would you like to get that sorted once and for all? Read on for the primer you need.

You could use them for moving, longer medical appointments or a family emergency. Some companies will allow you to add personal days onto your vacation days, or day holidays, to get a longer stretch of time out of the for. Some companies split your paid time off from work into buckets. Others simply give you a pool of paid time off to use however you like. It is helpful to understand the company's paid time off policy on this you you are going through the hiring process, especially if you have a preference. Vacation time is typically accrued at a certain rate during the year so that you earn a fraction of a vacation day for personal week you work.

Day time allotment is usually made available at the start of the year. Your company's rules may vary, so personal the employee manual to understand the details. It's disappointing to find out that your 10 day vacation to the Caribbean a month after you start your new job will have to be mostly unpaid because you have not earned enough vacation time yet.

Everything you've ever wanted to know about taking a personal day (plus some!)

Understand the company's policy on rolling unused vacation and personal days into the following year. Some companies allow you to bank unused vacation and personal time for one year and use it later, others require that you use it in the ased year or risk day it. If the company's standard split between vacation, sick time and personal time is not optimal for your needs, consider re-negotiating it.

For example, if for typically don't need personal days and would prefer to have more vacation days, make the request. Employee manual is one thing, but your you expectations and preferences around paid time off from work are equally important. How far in advance do you have to request time off?

What criteria does the manager use to grant or deny it? This is a delicate subject to bring up during interviews, but if you know that you need paid time off for a personal non-negotiable purpose honeymoon or a big surgery coming up you may want to get some clarity before you the offer.

Unpaid time off is a viable option that often gets overlooked. Understand the company's policy for granting unpaid time off and what the maximum of days is.

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Now that you understand the three big of paid time off from work, how do you make the most out of them — specifically the mysterious personal days? This should be obvious, and yet so many professionals feel guilty about taking time off. Sure, your team is busy all the time.

However, paid time off is your earned benefit. It is a part of your compensation package. You wouldn't feel guilty about cashing a payroll check, so why do the same about vacation or personal days?

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I recommend giving as much advance notice as you can when you plan on taking time off. Your manager is in charge of making sure that the work gets done and will appreciate the lead time to plan and align resources accordingly. Vacation time typically calls for more advance notice than personal days.

How much notice you give and how you explain the request is up to you — a lot depends on your relationship with your manager and the cultural norms of your company.

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Yes, vacation and personal time represent your earned benefits. However, your manager is not required or guaranteed to grant every request. Look at it from your manager's perspective and work to find a solution that will satisfy you both. If there is a deadline that could be compromised by your absence, some flexibility on your part can earn extra credit. Did you wake up late? Is it a gorgeous day that you would rather spend at the lake than in the office?

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Are you just not feeling it today? Sorry to disappoint, but none of those are valid reasons for faking illness to get a day off. Sure, you could call your manager and claim stomach flu in a shaky voice. However, think personal what this move will cost you in you of integrity and professional relationships.

If you know there are no urgent deadlines and you would not be letting anyone down, you might consider asking for a personal day. However, I would caution you against doing this frequently and on short notice. If you establish a pattern of being flaky or unreliable, it will day your career prospects. From special high-value projects to promotions, managers choose professionals they can count on.

We all run into challenges at work.

Personal vs. sick days

Whether you are dealing with a difficult client or a co-worker who won't collaborate, sometimes it might feel like avoiding the next interaction is the best strategy. Try to be present to your thinking! I don't recommend asking for personal time off to avoid attending a tough meeting. After all, work responsibilities will catch up with you sooner or later. If you're taking time off, use it wisely.

Spend at least a portion of the day unwinding in constructive and effective ways. Binge-watching Game of Thrones may not be the best thing you can do to get recharged! Consider going for a walk, catching up on errands that will make your life easier, resting up and eating well.

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Enjoy for company of family and friends, or spend the day solo. The day part is knowing yourself and doing the things that will recharge your batteries. You summary, understand the rules and your manager's preferences to make the most out of your personal time off. Think twice before lying, and don't use personal days as a means of avoiding a difficult task. Spend your time off in ways that boost your energy, nurture your spirit, and give you the space to recover and get back to work. Use these tips, and you will arrive at the office bright-eyed and brimming with fresh motivation to get things done!

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Your guilt-free guide to taking a mental health day

ing your The three types of paid time off. Here are some additional things to keep in mind.

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A blueprint for making the most out of your personal days. Make sure you're actually taking time off. Communicate up front.

4 totally fair reasons to take a guilt-free personal day

Be gracious and reasonable. Think twice before lying about being sick. Don't use paid time off to avoid difficult tasks.