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I've been working at a software development firm since January. It's my first job out of college. The last few months have been particularly busy for me (50+ hour weeks) and I'd like to take maybe a Monday off so I can take a three day weekend at some point soon.

Is it inappropriate to begin thinking about vacation at this juncture? I have more than enough PTO saved up, I just don't want to cause any trouble with my employer. So far they seem to be pretty flex about working hours. Since I'm just a junior developer I don't know how it would look.

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    I'm not sure why this has a close vote, it's a perfectly common scenario, and is a perfectly reasonable question. – acolyte Aug 1 '12 at 17:13
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    1 day is not a vacation. Nobody will even miss you. Even if it was a week, if you've built up the PTO I can't imagine anybody dinging you for using what you have earned. – Dunk Aug 1 '12 at 18:35
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    Think of it this way, if they did not wish you to take the time off, why would they have allowed new hires to accrue paid time off in the first place? – acolyte Aug 2 '12 at 3:42
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    @snoopy - I assume you earn said time each pay period. This means the company expects you to use said time eventually. Ask for the time off, if you are given permission, don't worry about it. – Donald Aug 2 '12 at 17:04
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    My first question is why in the world haven't you taken a day off yet? It's seven months! – DCShannon Feb 24 '16 at 1:13
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Just ask; you're often expected or even required to take a portion of your vacation days within the year you earn them (in the US/UK anyway). Asking for vacation 7 days after starting would be a little awkward. After 7 months, probably not.

If you're concerned about how it looks, check with your boss that the time is okay. Check your department calendar first to make sure you're not asking when half the department is off.

Your only concerns here should be:
1. Do I have days I can take off?
2. Can I do it without disrupting my department more than necessary?

I was in about this exact situation, but it was pretty obvious taking vacation in your first year was okay; we actually are only able to carry over up to 3 days of vacation time, so I had to take those vacation days! Ask your Payroll or Human Resources department for what their policy of that is.

Bottom line is, if HR/Payroll gave you vacation days, they gave you them for a reason. Any good manager understands that time off is important for productivity, and that's not only true for those who have been at the company for a long time.

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    I would just add that the OP should give a couple of week's notice of when they plan to take time off, so that other people's schedules aren't impacted too suddenly. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Aug 1 '12 at 21:21
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    You are also expected to take accrued holiday in the UK. You get pro-rata amounts for a part year and most places either don't let you carry any holidays over to the next year, or if they do, insist you take it with a month or so of the start of the holiday year. – ChrisF Aug 1 '12 at 21:56
  • Excellent answer. I've taken a 2 week vacation within a week of starting somewhere, but they knew I had a pre-booked holiday when they hired me and were fine with it. I even negotiated extra holiday in that first year so I didn't start out in the red. *8') – Mark Booth Aug 2 '12 at 9:18
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    @MarkBooth - Sounds like you simply started at the position 2 weeks later. If you were paid even better, means they really wanted you, which is always a plus. – Donald Aug 2 '12 at 17:06
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Check the HR policies to see the procedure. I still know of a few companies/contracts that have a requirement to fill out a request form in advance. They expected this for vacation, but you were allowed to fill out the forms when you returned if it was sick leave.

The fact you used the term PTO (paid time off) means that it is mixture of vacation and sick. They expect that a one day event might have little or no notice. One place I worked I told them I was going to take the kids to the amusement park on the first nice day next week. Nobody had a problem with it.

So first check the procedure, then check the shared calendar, then email your boss/team members. This is the same procedure you will follow when you need to miss time for a doctors appointment, or if you need to settle on a house, or some other inflexible event that will take more then a few hours.

Because the OP has flexible working hours, if the PTO balance was small you could makeup some hours by working longer days during the same pay period. That can be a good way to minimize the impact of a dentist appointment, but doesn't help when the vacation is supposed to relax you.

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Book your time off now, 7 months is plenty of time.

In Australia and Europe you get about 20 days of holidays per year. After 7 months you should have accumulated over 10 days - two weeks off.

BRW. 50+ hour weeks for a junior developer for an extended period time is bad.

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    Do have in mind that you might not have any vacation days to "spend" until you earn them - at least here in Europe. If you come straight from university, technically you won't have any days to take off until your second year at the company, as you can only spend "earned" vacation days. Unless, of course, your company gives you vacation days the day you start(something to negotiate and have in mind, as a new hire straight from uni!) The above depends on the country, of course. – cbll Nov 11 '16 at 10:05
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    In the UK: Typically around 24 days plus 8 bank holidays. And not working 50 hours a week. @cbll: Nonsense. You have two days to take off after a month, plus any bank holidays that happen to fall into that period. 50 hours a week is illegal unless you volunteered to be exempt from regulations (which no sane person would unless there is a six digit salary). – gnasher729 Nov 11 '16 at 10:26
  • @cbll: That's not true for Europe in general. In Austria you can take your first day off after 2 weeks and 25 days after 6 month. – Apfelsaft Nov 11 '16 at 12:18
  • Well, I guess we just slightly screwed here in Denmark, then. – cbll Nov 11 '16 at 12:33

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