Should Employees Feel Guilty About Taking Vacation Days?

In the past few weeks, I’ve heard a couple stories from friends who wanted to use some of their accrued vacation time, but ran into approval issues when it came to actually requesting the time off.

Two Vacation Requests

In one case, my friend wanted a single day off to attend to some personal business and was given a hard time about it. There was no specific reason given as to why the company didn’t want him to take off, but it was made clear to him that approving his vacation request was a favor.

Another friend requested time off to take a two week vacation with her husband. She had saved up her vacation for this big trip and had more than enough time to take off the two weeks, but was getting some resistance from her supervisor. A week would have been doable, but two weeks was too much. There was obviously nothing in the company rules prohibiting vacations longer than a week, it was simply inconvenient for the team to have to pick up the slack for that long.

When Rejecting Vacation Requests Is OK

There are certain situations where it’s reasonable for an employer to deny a vacation request. If there is not enough notice, it can cause short-term issues. If others have requested off at the same time, there are staffing issues to consider. There have to be the right number of people to handle the workload, and if everyone takes off Christmas week, there might not be enough people left to handle the customer inquiries.

Why Most Vacation Requests Should Be Approved

Other than some specific situations, I think it’s ridiculous not to allow employees to use their vacation time. Whether they want to use one day each month or take 2 weeks off at once should be the employee’s decision to make. Especially if it’s done with enough lead time, people can make adjustments. Having an employee out of work is not going to make it easier, but just like employees need to make changes based on employer needs, companies need to adjust to their employee’s commitments. The employee made an adjustment and didn’t take any time off for an extended period of time, the employee has the right to take his accrued vacation time in a way that fits his schedule.

If you can’t take a vacation day without feeling guilty, where’s the trade-off? Employees work for their employers, and return get certain benefits, including vacation days. There shouldn’t be much negotiation about when they’re allowed to be taken or for how long. The way I think about it is if you’re the employer, if you request time off, maybe the employee will simply leave the company? In that case, the employer is usually responsible for paying the employee for the time off, and in the end, they’ll be left without a full trained employee, so it’s a very big risk to reject these types of requests

The Unintended Consequence of Denying Vacation Time

Not allowing employees to use vacation time they’ve accrued probably has an unintended consequence: more sick days. If an employer isn’t allowing employees to take vacation time, they’re probably more likely to have an unannounced day off. Think about it: if you ask for time off and they deny you, you have no other options. But if you don’t ask and are “sick” that day, you can’t really get in trouble, right? I’m glad I’m not in that position, but I wonder if it happens.

Have you ever had a hard time taking vacation time you accrued fairly?

How you Can Benefit from Fluctuations in Exchange Rates

Anyone that regularly conducts overseas money transfers or travels abroad should always be alert about changes to the exchange rate. This can make a huge difference to your personal finances when you transfer or buy at the right time. This means it is always worthwhile understanding what causes the fluctuations in exchange rates as well as keeping an eye on the market, and this can easily be done when you know where to look.

The Impact the Economy has on Currency Value

There are many factors that have an impact on the exchange rate and how much a currency is worth. The current economic stability will have a large impact on this, and this will include inflation, national debt, changes in interest rates and the attractiveness of a country’s goods. You will want to have an idea on the economic stability in your own country as well as the currency zone that you are conducting business with or travelling to, and this will give you an idea of what fluctuations there may be in the exchange rate. One of the easiest ways to gain an understanding of the economic stability will be to keep up to date with the latest national and international news.

Currency Converters Using the Latest Rates

It is also easy to calculate currency and foreign exchange rates using the latest rates through online resources. Sites like Currencies Direct and others have easy to use currency converters, where you can simply select the currencies you want to convert, and then enter the amount. This will then instantly give you the foreign value indicative of the interbank rate. Generally these resources update their rates every 15 minutes, and this will allow you to make an informed decision on when the right time is to make a transfer. The rates will also vary depending on the amount bought and sold, so this needs to be taken into consideration too.

In addition, many of these online resources allow you to select an ideal rate, and then when this rate is achieved you will be contacted, so that you can then make the transfer. This is particularly helpful as it means that you do not have to spend your time watching the market and waiting for the right time.

Using Online Tools to get the Most from your Transaction

This could have a big impact on how much you get for your money, and anyone that regularly conducts transactions with overseas vendors or trades in the foreign exchange market will benefit from using these online resources. By staying abreast of the economic stability of your own country, as well as the currency zone you are trading with, it will give you some indication on the value of yours and international currencies. However, for the important up to date rates you will be able to find these online and even be alerted when your desired rate is achieved so that you can make the transfer when it best suits you.

6 Ways Social Work Can Improve Your PR

Making a career change is a big step. There are a number of things you have to consider, including what you are interested in, what skills you possess, and where your skills and interests can help you move forward. Deciding on a new career can mean going back to school, and dealing with challenges that you’ve not anticipated. However, some career moves, such as from public relations to social work can help you do better in both.

1. Improved Listening Skills

When you’re in public relations, you need to be able to listen to your customers and understand what they need. However, listening becomes a crucial skill when you’re working with people in the social work sphere. When you’re working toward a degree in social work, you’ll work toward improving your listening skills to understand the underlying issues in the family dynamic and more. Your improved listening skills will also help you if you go back to public relations, as you’ll be able to make better connections with your clients.

2. Gathering Information

In addition to actually listening to people, an important part of both of these jobs is pulling together information. Gathering information can help you figure out problems with clients in both fields. In social work, you’re going to be dealing with people who may not want to give you the information you need. In public relations, this may also be the case, however more often you’ll be dealing with clients who may not know what they want. When you are able to gather information that isn’t being given readily, you’ll improve your standing in both fields.

3. Building Trust Effectively

When you’re working in public relations, you need people to respect and trust you. If the clients you are working with don’t trust you, you’re not going to get anywhere with them. Because of this, building trust with clients is important. It is also an important skill in social work. When you change careers to social work, you’ll find that your skills that help build trust in others will improve. These skills make all the difference in your interactions with families and people in the community. Learning to build trust is something that will help both career paths significantly.

4. Polished Writing

As a public relations specialist, you know that you have to be able to write well. This is a large part of how both you and your client are seen by the world. However, many people don’t realize that this is also a skill that must be cultivated by those in the social work sphere as well. When you move to social work, you’re writing is going to change. However, this will give you a different perspective on well-written, polished work. You’ll need to write reports, keep notes, and more. In addition, it will need to be well-organized. These skills will help you further your career in public relations if you ever go back.

5. Keep Focused

Sometimes in the office it seems like everyone is clamoring for your attention, all at the same time. When you’re doing social work, you feel like this both in the office and in the field. You need to be able to stay focused on the task at hand, to be able to help families and communities. Learning the focus of a social worker will help you in public relations, as you’ll be able to keep focusing on one problem or one client at a time.

6. Go With the Flow

Things happen fast when you’re in public relations. In fact, those in PR may look at other jobs and feel like it would be too slow or boring. This is not the case when it comes to social work. Social workers need to be able to go with the flow and manage changes just as quickly and effectively as those in PR.

There are a lot of aspects of both social work and public relations that can help you further your career in the other field. If you’re currently in public relations, but looking for a change, consider looking into social work.