If you’re a temp worker, contractor, or freelancer, then you typically don’t get paid time off. Any time you take a vacation or leave is unpaid and something you have to save up for. However, that doesn’t mean you should never take a break. In fact, if you don’t, it can lead to burnout and impact your mental, emotional and physical health.
So how do you explain a gap between assignments to your next potential employer? It’s simple: be honest. Let them know you took some much-deserved time off and now you’re ready to get back up and running. When you respond honestly, you can enjoy the freedom that comes with temporary work without it impacting your ability to land that next assignment.
In order to make taking time off easier as a temporary worker or contractor, here are some additional tips to keep in mind.
Is it Okay to Take Time-Off in-between Contract Assignments?
Plan ahead in your schedule and with your budget
When you’re taking time off as a temp worker or contractor, keep in mind you might be more in demand during certain times of the year. Try to avoid scheduling your vacation during these busy periods, so you’re available to your clients or temp employment agency.
Also, you want to enjoy your time off, not worry about the income you’re missing out on. So make sure you plan ahead and budget for time without pay, so you can relax instead of stressing.
Let your clients or agency know you’ll be MIA
A month or two before your scheduled vacation, let your clients or your agency know that you won’t be available. They will appreciate the heads up and make alternate arrangements if necessary. Simply email them well ahead of time with your planned dates for being out and then also the week before to remind them.
Take care of any loose ends before you leave
One of the downsides of being a temporary worker or contractor is there isn’t another employee to hand tasks off to while you’re gone. It’s therefore important that you don’t leave any of your clients hanging and that you tie up all those little loose ends before you leave. If there’s an issue with a current project that you’re working on, consider making yourself available for your client during your vacation so they can reach out to you during your time off.
Keep in mind, a working vacation is better than no vacation at all. When you’re not a full-time employee, sometimes it’s necessary to be online during certain times of the day, or check emails or voice messages. However, it’s still important to make it clear you’re on vacation and not as responsive as you’d typically be.