When people are about to apply for leaves hesitation sinks in. There is always a chance that you will be looked down upon, not just by your boss but by other colleagues too. That’s where you are wrong. They are not looking down instead they are quite jealous that you are going to be enjoying your time when they will be working. This is true no matter the cultural and social standards. Everyone would love a break from work.
When we join a job we worry about the pay we are going to get and whether we get any perks. One thing most don’t worry about is, whether they are getting enough leaves. Both of us get 32 leaves each including sick and casual leaves every year. Of these 14 expire every year if we don’t avail them. That is a clear incentive to use at-least 14 leaves in a year that means a day off every month. You can have at-least one long weekend every month.
Not everyone gets these many leaves. If you are one of them there are two things you need to do. One you need to plan your leaves early. Secondly get a better job which gives you enough time for yourself.
The fact that you need days off to travel to a far off place is a no brainer. So if you want to visit Andamans you better take time off or find someone who gives it to you. Since we decided to take out time to travel, I can’t understand people who don’t take leaves.
Planning is a very important aspect of all our daily activities. Most of us have some kind of planner at our desks even if it is a To-Do list on a post-it. If you want to be travelling you need to be proactive and spontaneous. Here’s what Vinayak had to say when asked how he managed travel along with his high pressure job.
“I don’t know about everyone else but I have been travelling a lot last year while still working at a high pressure job at a start-up.
We mapped out the holidays that we wanted to take. We had some optional and some mandatory. We chose the holidays so that they could be converted to long weekends (1st preferences Friday / Monday and 2nd preferences Thursday / Tuesday). Once we had that mapped out we made a list of places that wanted to visit and budgeted for them. After that it just execute-execute. Some family functions and marriages we needed to attend were also converted into small side trips.
We took 5 days off in August and got 12 days. 1st week Friday, 2nd week Wednesday and 3rd week Monday were holidays. We booked tickets early and got a good long vacation.
You can also take a Compensatory / sabbatical / Loss of pay. Lots of people are afraid to ask about them but these are not that hard to get depending on the nature of your work, your equation with your boss and your value to the organization.
I had a very supportive team (some of whom were sent on compulsory holidays by me – as their manager). That helped. I clocked about 110 days of travel last calendar year including weekend trips. It can be done.”
This is just a regular guy working and travelling, remember what he says- It can be done.
One thing most of us never do is ask. It is usually free and would at worst get you a negative answer. It is still better than believing you will never get a positive answer and selling yourself short. When was the last time you asked your boss about leaving early on Friday? Yes you have a lot of work and are really busy, but did you ask? Here’s what Ajay Reddy the guy who started GoUnesco had to say about managing work with travel.
“I used to travel on weekends mostly. And my boss wouldn’t mind me taking a Friday off the times I was travelling. But I didn’t go to the really far off places last year. That would have required more time and better planning.”
He knows what his limitations are but even if he could not get a week off he still managed 2-3 days. When was the last time you did this?
There’s a guy who travelled almost for four months total last year and then there’s a guy who managed travelling just on weekend. How are they different than you? They did it no matter for how small a time.
Slacking at your job and day dreaming about the last place you went to is a definite no-no. If you really want to get some time off you need to be more committed to work. Not only will you boss be happy you will not feel guilty about leaving work alone for a few days. Learn to multitask and finish your work within the office hours.
Staying late in office is not only going to cost you time also it will set a pattern which people will expect from you. Once you get typecast it gets difficult to break the mould. If you are being paid overtime it’s a different story.
I am assuming you did rethink your approach to your job. To make progress we need to know how to manage our job around our life not the vice-versa. Once you are an expert at this, next posts are just a habit and skill building exercise for travel.
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