What's your problem?

I started a new job three months ago. When I was offered the position, I made it clear that I already had two weeks' holiday booked for an important family celebration in March. I was told this was no problem. Now, two months into the job, my new boss wants me to cancel the holiday, as he needs me to go on a business trip.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It puts me in a difficult position. I don't want to upset my new employers, but the holiday is an important commitment, and one that they agreed to. What should I do?

A: I imagine this important family celebration has meant quite a few other people making advance commitments. And that your new boss is well aware of this.

So my unworthy thought is that he's trying this on as a test of your strength of character. If he finds you're ready to respond like a well-trained dog, your life will never be your own again. So be polite; express your genuine regrets; but insist that you honour the arrangements you've made with your family.

I know it's easy to be brave on someone else's behalf, but I'm pretty sure that this will put your relationship with your new boss on a healthy footing.

- Jeremy Bullmore has been creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London and a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group; he is a non-executive director of WPP. Address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today