I'm working as a Software Engineer in a non-critical role. My company is somewhat relaxed, but I'm embarrassed to ask for time off since it's my first job, and I'm not sure what is and isn't appropriate. Is it too early to ask for one week off if, at the point I would take the 1 week off, I've been working there for 4 months? This means that I'd have to ask some time before (How much heads up I should give?), and the earlier I'll ask, the less time I'll have under my belt.

Also, what's the best way to bring it up to my boss? Is e-mail okay?

  • 2
    How much vacation time do you have banked? Jan 31, 2017 at 19:38
  • 4
    Where are you located? This varies immensely between cultures. Jan 31, 2017 at 20:02
  • 2
    Is there a reason you can't ask someone at your company?
    – user8365
    Jan 31, 2017 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


First, consult your contract. It may stipulate a probationary period where you are not entitled to a vacation; it may say you are immediately eligible for a vacation. I work with someone who took their vacation the week after they started (vacation was planned months ahead, the boss knew about this ahead of time). Summary: your contract should outline your eligibility for getting a vacation.

Second, kinda discard the first thing. You can likely ask your boss, regardless of your current standing. I'd e-mail them or if you are friendly with them, quickly stop by their office and explain your naive confusion. They'll likely understand and if they are able to, they will grant it.

  • Yes. I worked for an organization with a rule of not taking time off right away, but my boss ignored that rule or a day here or there for personal/medical/spouse/car trouble reasons.
    – MikeP
    Feb 2, 2017 at 16:08

If your company requires that you accrue your time for X hours of work you put in, then you may not be able to take a whole week right out the gate. You'll want to ensure that this is possible by looking at your pay stub; usually PTO is mentioned there.

In either scenario, giving some kind of heads-up to your manager is necessary. If you're unfamiliar with the process on how to use this time off, they will happily explain it for you if you ask. While it depends on how long you're planning on being gone, I've seen that giving notice a week in advance can cover up to two weeks of vacation.

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