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How Much Vacation Time Am I Entitled To As A Freelancer?

Freelancers can take vacations as often and as long as they want – can’t they? Theoretically, this is actually true, but reality is a whole different story most of the time. Especially, self-employed people tend to rarely allow themselves a real break – for fear of missing out on an order or losing a client. At yoummday, you can enjoy all benefits of freelancing and still take vacations regularly and with a clear conscience – as long as you keep these 7 tips in mind.

With the right tips you can even go on vacation as a freelancer with a clear conscience
28 July 2021
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As a freelancer, you don’t have set vacation days. This has many benefits, since you can choose when, how often and how long to take time off. This gives you more flexibility when planning than if you were employed and you can adapt your time off to your personal living situation, without having to coordinate with superiors and colleagues.

However, this freedom comes at a price: unlike employees, freelancers have no legal entitlement to a certain minimum number of days off or paid vacation. They also must do without benefits such as overtime compensation or vacation pay. In addition, freelancers who work alone are responsible for their own professional success and usually don’t have someone to take over when they go on vacation. Because of this, many freelancers are at risk of taking no or too little breaks, for fear of hurting themselves on a professional level.

But vacations are important. Even and especially if you’re self-employed and work on your own. Because to stay motivated, you need a few days to yourself in order to rest and socialize regularly with your friends and family. That’s why you should always make sure to schedule enough vacation time and really stick to it.

These 7 tips will help you:

1. Plan your vacation early and sincerely

It’s best to plan your vacation as strictly and irrevocably as if it was an important deadline or a professional project. Determine a few timeframes early – for example at the beginning of the year – that you want to reserve and work towards being able to stick to them no matter what happens.

2. Determine a minimum number of vacation days for yourself

Don’t just plan when to take time off, but make sure it’s enough. For example, by determining a certain number of days as your vacation time for the year and distributing them in your calendar. When doing this, you shouldn’t just plan some long weekends, but also ensure that you allow yourself a longer break of a minimum of two weeks once or twice a year. After all, you need this time to really be able to relax and unwind.

3. Include your vacation in your budget planning

As a freelancer, you are not entitled to paid vacations and don’t get vacation pay. That’s why you should include the times you’re not earning money in your budget planning from the start. Here’s a tip: every month, set a part of your income aside for vacation. This way, you’ll be saving up your own vacation pay that you can live off during your travels and feel good doing it.

4. Openly communicate that you are on vacation

Let your customers and professional contacts know when you will be unavailable. Set up an out-of-office notice for your emails, announce your vacation times in your voicemail greeting and let all your frequent professional contacts know ahead of time.

5. Disconnect!

In this case, it’s meant quite literally. Because you can only truly unwind if your work computer stays turned off. It’s best not to touch any devices and accounts that you use for work for the entire duration of your vacation. This way, you won’t be tempted to check your emails or continue working on a project.

6. No exceptions!

Many freelancers tend to “do this really quick”, “be available in case of emergency” in their free time or “complete a small project during vacation” – and in the end, they’ll be working the whole time. Again, to avoid this: treat your vacation with the same urgency as you do an important project, where no exceptions and postponements are allowed. After all, now your only “to dos” are: relax, unwind, recharge your batterie!

Keine Angst vor Versäumnissen

“I have to stay available at all times or I might miss out on a big order or lose important customers.” This fear keeps many freelancers from taking a real break. However, vacation is no superfluous luxury and certainly not a sign of laziness or weakness. On the contrary: you need this time off and you earned it! Here’s a tip: how about you turn the tables and ask yourself: would you turn your back on your favorite restaurant forever just because they take a company vacation for two weeks in the summer? No? Exactly! You would probably be happy for them and look forward to them opening back up soon. And you can expect the same from your clients!

Combine flexibility with security – Become a talent at yoummday

At yoummday, freelancers can go on vacation without worries or risks. Here, you are self-employed as a talent, but you don’t have to worry about orders. After all, there are always plenty of projects available on the platform. That way, you can get straight back to work after your absence – no matter how long you’ve been gone!

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