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It's been two years I have seen my family (they live in India, I am in US) but it's been just two months since I got my first job.

My parents tell me to ask my employer about a possible one month leave, they're also okay with a leave less than one month though.

Thing is I am in a dilemma on how should I approach my employer? Moreover, my company is a really small one (30-50 eemployees). Would that make any difference or should I wait to complete some months of my employment to ask them? The vacation's not really necessary but inside my heart I really want to see them in person.

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Thing is I am in a dilemma on how should I approach my employer?

Bring it up with your manager during your next 1-on-1 meeting.

Instead of asking for a 1-month vacation now, just ask about the company policy for such vacations instead. As Monica Cellio points out, you could ask in an open-ended way -- not "I'd like to take next month off" but more like "sometime in the next {several months, year, whatever - but not immediate} I'd like to take a few weeks to visit my family in India; how do we handle longer leaves?" This is something anyone wishing to travel home for long periods of time will need to know.

Any US company that regularly hires folks from India, China, etc. has already faced this sort of issue, and will likely already have a protocol in place. That is certainly the case for my company. We regularly arrange such lengthy vacations, although requesting one when you have been at the company for only two months wouldn't usually be acceptable in my company.

Many companies would expect you to wait until you have actually accrued 4 weeks or so worth of vacation time. If that is the case at your company, HR would be able to tell you how your vacation accruals work, and at what point you will have accrued 4 weeks vacation.

Some companies will permit you to "borrow" unaccrued vacation time. Again, HR could tell you.

A few companies will not permit you to take more than a few weeks vacation at a time.

As David K points out, you could also ask about the possibility of working remotely, if the job and the trip allow it. Answering emails and getting some work done could certainly ease having someone away for a month.

It may depend on your role within the company, what is going on at the moment regarding projects, who can replace you for a month, etc.

But in almost all circumstances, it will be necessary to work with your manager when requesting your vacation. Your manager will need to coordinate your schedule against your projects, and whoever will fill in for your work in your absence.

In my company, most folks wishing to travel back to India save up their vacation time, and travel once every two years at most. On some occasions (emergencies) we allow folks to "borrow" vacation time. In some cases, folks bring a computer with them to work remotely.

Your mileage may vary.

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    I would also ask about the possibility of working remotely, if the job and the trip allow it. Answering emails and getting some work done could certainly ease having someone away for a month. – David K Sep 29 '14 at 12:59
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    I would also suggest asking in an open-ended way -- not "I'd like to take next month off" but more like "sometime in the next {several months, year, whatever - but not immediate} I'd like to take a few weeks to visit my family in India; how do we handle longer leaves?". – Monica Cellio Sep 29 '14 at 15:19
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Unless it's a family emergency, I would go along with working a few more months before asking for a leave - You would use that time to be comfortable with the company culture and procedures, and becoming a known, trusted and valued asset to your management. Knowing the company culture and procedures and building up good will with your management will go a long way toward making sure that any of your requests not just the request for a leave, will be successful.

I had an Indian friend who asked and got a one-month leave at my first firm - He was a valued and well liked employee to the point that he was practically the apple of his CEO's eyes. He used the time for his leave to meet and marry his wife, and we were all supremely happy to see him back and introduce that wonderful, supremely intelligent, gracious and beautiful young woman to us :) And no, I am telling you no fairy tale.

  • Though I am quite familiar with everything now but I think I will wait for some time to ask for the leave. – user3777390 Sep 29 '14 at 4:22
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    You're not waiting for the sake of waiting. In fact, you are not waiting, you're building up the good will : Otherwise, there is no point to waiting. – Vietnhi Phuvan Sep 29 '14 at 4:42
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I have to tell you that even though it has been two years since you have seen your family, 2 months into a job is early to ask for a month off. In the US it is not common for people to take that much time at once and you need to build a reputation as a really good employee they want to keep before it is likely anyone will approve. There is also the issue of paid vacation time, it is unlikely you have accrued enough to take a month.

Now many places will be accommodating for people visiting family in another country, more so than a nonimmigrant like me who just wants a month off. Places that employ several immigrants are more likely to be accommodating though. But generally you have to have worked there long enough that they see you as valuable. This is dependent on your performance though, mediocre or poor employees do not generally get month-long vacations approved.

However your employer should be expecting that you would be thinking of returning home sometime and talking about the mechanics of how to plan such a thing should be acceptable in any decent company.

I have seen people plan for the month to fall over New years so that some of the leave came from one year and some from another (This only works if your company allows you to take leave before it is accrued and is usually only needed if you can't save leave from year to year to build up to a month of leave.). Other places might make you save it all up before you take it. Some might let you take vacation and leave without pay (because typically in the US new employees don't get anywhere close to 4 weeks of vacation time). Others might be willing to let you have a week or or two of vacation combined with several weeks of working remotely. You need to find out what your company would be willing to do and how long it would take to get the leave you need to be able to do this. If they allow remote working at all, that is probably the best option when you don't accrue much leave. You will also want to know if there is a slow time when it would be better to take a long vacation. Some businesses get really slow during the Christmas holiday season, others do not. So if you find out when might typically be the better time to take the vacation, that can help with planning.

So the first step is to sit down with your boss, tell him you know it is a big thing and so you are trying to figure out a plan and lay out the options and let him tell you what the company will and will not do and what the appropriate timeframe for planning such a vacation is.

If it turns out there is no circumstance where they will let you come home, then you might want to think about moving on and ask about such policies in the interview next time.

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I think 2 months in is a bit early to try for a break like this without it being an emergency (especially in the US, where leave of this duration is very unusual, somewhere like France would probably be much easier).

The hard part of this is not leaving your employer in a difficult position, so work with them. Think about when would be good for you, say early next year, and talk to them before you set the family's expectations. Ask work if it's possible to take a month off, and if so how does X/Y sound?

The more time the employer has to prepare, the more likely for it to happen.

Also negotiate, maybe offer to do some extra time to get project x out before you'd be due to go, give them a reason to say yes.

Another thing is it's likely your bosses are sonn going to be planning first quarter/half 2015 so try and get the idea to them before that, always easier if they can plan around it (rather than replan)

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