So, you’ve decided that now is the right time to look for your next opportunity. You’ve done all the right and responsible things – updated your resume, filled out applications, did some research on other companies, networked with some good leads. But, hold up, how could you forget? There is that great (and already paid for) vacation just around the corner. How do you handle that if you find a new job before your vacation?
Wait: Don’t make it the first thing you mention during your interviews.
Proceed with your interviews as normal. Have conversations about your work history, transferable skills, what you’re looking for in your next opportunity. Ask questions about what the companies have to offer, what they are looking for in the right incumbent, what long-term growth looks like – questions along those lines. There is no need to mention an upcoming vacation if the opportunity isn’t going to be what you’d move forward with anyway. Besides, you want these employers to get to know you and your strengths first, and ideally, conceptually commit to you before talking about any future vacation plans.
Relax: You’ve gone on some interviews and it sounds like an employer is committing to you, right? They are talking about a dollar amount, start date, future training, benefits, etcetera, and etcetera. Plus, you’ve decided this is the opportunity you want! It’s looking good for you and you’re definitely excited! You’re also worried and getting that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach because you know you need to mention your vacation plans. Relax! It’s practically a guarantee that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to them. Not to mention the fact that you didn’t do anything wrong by making plans beforehand. You didn’t intentionally try to deceive them or play them in any way by scheduling a vacation. People make vacation arrangements ahead of time, all of the time. There is no way to foresee all of the life occurrences that may come up in the meantime. Don’t forget, you planned this previous to the interview process. Besides, we all need time off.
Be Brief: It’s time to tell them.
They want you to come onboard, and you want to as well. You know you don’t feel right about waiting until after you start because that might sound shady; maybe this vacation was set after getting the job. You don’t want them to wonder what else you haven’t told them. There is no need to get into a long-winded justification as to why you need this vacation, how much you’ve already spent, or how upset your entire family will be for years to come if plans get cancelled. Just tell them. Practice it beforehand. Exactly like you prepared for your interviews, know what you are going to say before saying it, and then say it. Honestly, this shouldn’t be a surprise to them. Assuming you’re not taking 3 months off to backpack across Europe, they really should be fine. Vacations are a normal part of life. Of course, be accommodating with the exact dates where possible, and just be reassuring – that you will come back refreshed and ready to continue with your new role. Ultimately, tell them and expect to move on as planned. If they do reactive overly negative, even after you’ve taken considerable measure to be honest and upfront, maybe it’s not the right company for you after all?
Happy job hunting!!