‘Tis the season to be jolly – or so they say. While many people are gearing up for a relaxing summer holiday break, pet sitters are likely to be getting busier. Indeed, many Aussies are returning to work for the first time in months, due to the lifting of COVID restrictions. Other people are planning their festive family vacations — which might not be pet-friendly!

If you’re a pet sitter, it’s likely you’re seeing an increasing number of new bookings, which is fantastic for business. But what if you fancy taking some ‘me time’ over the holiday season?

Guide to taking time off for pet sitters

Pet sitters are called upon pretty much every day of the week. What’s more, when you run your own pet sitting business you want to make yourself available. Certainly, it can be difficult to say no to a potential job for fear of losing income.

Furthermore, many pet sitters receive an increased number of job requests during the festive and holiday season. So, what happens if you want to take time off for yourself?

Here are a few tips to help you manage the holiday period without working yourself into the ground. Even better, you might actually be able to take a well-deserved break yourself!

Clear and timely communication

Working as a pet sitter has many benefits but taking time off probably isn’t one of them. Nonetheless, as with any job, holidays, whether long or short, are necessary for your general wellbeing.

One of the pros of being pet sitters is that you get to set your own schedules. As the holiday or summer season approaches, it’s important to think about your schedule and what hours you want to work. It’s also important to lay down some time for yourself.

Make sure you do this in advance. This way you can give your clients plenty of prior warning, allowing them time to make alternative arrangements for their pets.

In addition, depending on your setup, it may be worthwhile sending an email or text to your entire database to advise when you will and won’t be available. This way, there’s less likelihood of upsetting or disappointing anyone!

It’s okay to say no

Sure, it can be easier said than done; nonetheless, it’s essential to learn how to say no.

As mentioned previously, as long as you give your clients plenty of notice it’s okay to say no. You might also want to remind yourself that, in general, people are understanding. If you’re taking some time off to be with your family, your clients should be accepting of this. If they’re not, then maybe they’re clients that are not worth having!

Plan your finances

Of course, aside from not wanting to disappoint or inconvenience your clients saying no to work can affect your earnings. For this very reason, it’s important to plan your finances. During busy periods you can put some money away. This can be used to tide you over during quiet months — or when you decide to take a break.

As a rule of thumb, putting 10%—20% of your income into savings each month can be useful. Not only can you use this money as income while you take a holiday, but it might also come in useful should an unexpected situation arise.

Recognise the advantages of taking holidays

Taking time off is essential if you want to achieve a good work-life balance. Scheduling holidays also improves your mental health, helping to keep stress and anxiety at bay.

Essentially, when you feel happy and healthy you are much more able to service your clients well. Indeed, feeling refreshed, rather than fatigued, allows you much more clarity. Not only will you be able to plan better, but you are also likely to feel more motivated and creative.

TIP: Cast your eye back over your yearly schedule to see if you can identify any periods when work was quiet. It may be that there are certain times of the year when business is naturally slow. You might use these times to plan your own holiday. This way you won’t be missing out on income when the work is there — plus you’ll probably feel far less guilty about taking time off!

As a pet sitter, how do you plan time off?

Image source: Unsplash.com

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Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure for the past 12 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals.

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