I am having a difficult time understanding what my manager wants. He is always polite when he speaks and in his words he said “I totally support you going on this trip, family is important so you should spend some time with them but this is a red flag to me”. I don’t know what he means by supporting me in going if he thinks that I shouldn’t go?
I am a new grad and I started my job few months ago at a big company. They are one of the sponsors of an annual conference and all employees can go there on company expense so basically it’s considered a business trip. Due to recent budget cuts all business travel was canceled except this conference. But my manager missed a couples emails from the director with upto date information on the policy so he told me I had to cancel this travel. But then another manager at my company reached out to me and helped me talk to my manager so that I can attend this conference. However I had a feeling from the beginning that my manager knew about travel not being canceled for a non-refundable trip (because he told one of my other teammates to book a non-refundable trip a couples weeks in advance). This conference also had special exemptions because it’s aimed towards diversity. In reality, he might not have wanted me to go because of my performance. He never said that tho.
Context: I have not finished my onboarding yet, which I should have already so I am behind. Partly because I didn’t take my 1st month too seriously. And we had several feedback sessions where he let me know that I should work harder, I always work on the feedback he gives me and try my best to improve.
After I came back from the business conference, I was ill but only took one sick day. Again he was okay with it. But then I decided to meet my family abroad at the end of this month. So i will be taking a 2 week (10 working days) vacation only after 4.5 months of taking this job. My manager was a little upset and he said “You’re going on a vacation after you just came back from the conference, which you insisted to go on, and then you were sick. It gives the impression that you don’t take this job seriously. Or this job is a second preference to you. I totally support you to go but you should know that this is what it makes me think”. I am new to corporate world so I don’t know this, is going on a business conference seen as leisure travel? This conversation was last week, 20 days before the vacation date.
I totally realize that I clearly need to put in more work and I am, but should I cancel my trip just to make sure I don’t upset my manager? I thought since I have a month between when I came back from conference to when I am leaving for vacation it should be acceptable? (I feel like everything is getting kinda messy but I really wanna meet my grandma as well)
I don’t know what should I do about this situation now. I am new so I don’t feel safe to reach out to anyone about this. I don’t want to start off my career on the wrong side of my manager by going to a vacation when he has clearly raised concerns over my performance. To make it worse, I insisted that I really wanted to go to Conference but then my experience was sub par. My manager keeps saying that he’s supportive of me going but does he mean that he will approve my request but there will be consequences?