An Effective Way To Ask Your Boss For Time Off

An Effective Way To Ask Your Boss For Time Off

Let’s face it: even though many of us are entitled to a certain amount of annual leave, we could get pushback from the boss, especially when there’s a lot going on in the office. Ramit Sethi shares a simple email script to help you “prime” your boss to say yes.

Image by Pricenfees.

In his article, Sethi, New York Times bestselling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, suggests using this script:

I’d like to request vacation time from Monday, October 2nd, through Friday, October 6th because I’ll be taking a family vacation over those days.

While I’m gone, I’ll be reachable by email but not phone. I’ll be making sure that we have coverage in the support queue while I’m gone, and I’ll also be distributing a playbook to my team so it’s clear who owns which issues.

Is this OK?



Sethi says this email is effective because you’ve mitigated a lot of your boss’ worries, like needing to reroute your work to other people or making sure a project still chugs along while you’re gone, so there aren’t many reasons left for her or him to deny you. There’s also very nuanced language in there that increases the likelihood your boss will say yes.

Sethi notes that you should make sure to send the email weeks or months in advance. This will give your boss plenty of lead time to plan around your vacation.

How to ask for vacation days [I Will Teach You to Be Rich]


  • If your Boss is worried about a single staff member not being able to work over any length of time then your boss isn’t very good.

    What happens if a staff member is hit by a bus, or wins the lottery? If a department cannot carry on autonomously at the failure of a single point or if, even on break, a single point needs 24/7 contact then your department is doomed from the start.

    “available on email” It is a 2000’s era of working and distribution. This was fantastic 17 years ago when email wasn’t available on every phone at all hours of the day. If you are leading a team now and all members of said team aren’t communicating and skilled in multiple aspects of their duties then you need to re-evaluate your management.

    There is no reason a employee needs to beg/justify take time off work in which they are entitled.
    If your management is effective the team will already know when deadlines are important and work is critical and they won’t ask for time off during those dates. Having a team member ask for leisure time off when a project is due, is a failure of communication on the management.

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