AttendanceEvery job track will have different hours and days of attendance. In general, the lower levels of each track will require your Sim to work longer hours, which is motivation enough to get a few promotions under your belt; you'll also probably find that your Sim will get an extra day or two off of work each work week.
Note that you don't always have to attend work, though. There are a bunch of different ways to miss work, some more penalizing than others.
Absent: If you just don't show up for work, your job performance rating will decrease, and you won't be paid for the day's work. If you absent yourself from your job twice in a row, you'll get fired.
Vacation: Your Sim accrues vacation at a rate of .15 days per day worked. When you have a vacation day saved up, you can feel free to ignore your carpool and take a day off. You won't lose job performance for this missed day, but you will get paid.
Calling In Sick: You can call in sick if you wish to take a day off without having to expend a vacation day. Taking a sick day won't reduce your job performance level, but you won't get paid for the day. If your Sim is truly sick, this sick call will always be accepted by the company. If you aren't sick, then you'll need to have a very high job performance rating for your excuse to be believed. If your meter is over 75% full, then you should be able to get away with calling in sick; if it's less than that, though, there's a chance that they won't buy your excuses and will assume that you're Absent, with the normal penalties of poor job performance and possible firing. You can attempt to call in sick up to an hour after you miss your carpool.
Maternity Leave: If your female Sim gets pregnant (or your adult male Sim gets abducted by aliens), then you'll automatically get paid days off until the child arrives. After the baby is born, you'll receive extra paid vacation days which should help you train your toddler to walk and talk. If you wish, you can save the vacation days for later, but be sure that the baby is well taken care of, or it might be taken by Child Services.
Career RewardsIn addition to the Aspiration rewards, Sims 2 also lets your Sims unlock career rewards upon reaching a certain level of a career track. These are usually unlocked between levels four and six of a career, and are Skill-building items. You can buy any number of Skill-building items from the Buy menu, obviously, but the career rewards are going to let you raise your Skills a tad bit faster than anything you can buy, and are free to boot. Some of these items also have other Need bonuses; click on them in the career reward segment of your menu to give them a thorough looking-at. You can find their information there even if you haven't unlocked them yet.
|Athletic||Exerto Punching Bag||Body|
|Criminal||SensoTwitch Lie Finder||Mechanical|
|Culinary||Schokolade 890 Chocolate Manufacturing Facility||Cooking|
|Law Enforcement||Prints Charming Fingerprinting Scanner||Cleaning|
|Medical||TraumaTime Surgical Training Station||Mechanical|
|Military||Exerto Selfflog Obstacle Course||Body|
|Politics||Enterprise Office Concepts Bushmaster Teleprompter||Charisma|
|Science||Simsanto Inc. Biotech Station||Creativity|
|Slacker||AquaGreen Hydroponic Garden||Cooking|