The Case for Breaking Before a New Job

So you’ve got your paper offer, and are talking about start dates. Most companies, at least in many metropolitan cities, will ask for an immediate start. “We needed you yesterday!” they shout. If it’s project-based work, it’s possible that is quite true. The two-week resignation is extremely common, and I’m not even sure where it started, but it’s fairly ubiquitous. But, that doesn’t mean you should start in two weeks.  No no no. Here are some reasons why!

  1. Looking for a new job is stressful. You may not even realize it, but attending all those interviews, trying to catch up on work, completing challenges, hopping on phone calls and networking your behind off takes a toll on you. You may feel like you should continue rolling at fifty miles an hour, but wouldn’t it be better to take some you-time and relax?
  2. Breaks offer perspective. Along the same vein as recommending taking a vacation when works got you bogged down, consider taking a min-vacation before you start your new job. Let your mind wander, take a long lunch, stroll in a new neighborhood. All these activities let your brain work through thoughts without having the constant flow of email communication. Allow yourself to breathe for a moment, and arrive for your new role rejuvenated, and ready to go.
  3. Time off gives you a moment to restart. You have laundry piling up, calls to make, chores to do. All of these items were being neglected. By taking a few days (even just one!) you have a chance to come in bright eyed and bushy tailed, rather than on the tailwind of your last big meeting presentation.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to take a week off between jobs, but, at least take a day or two. Plus, starting in a new place comes with all kinds of surprises like finding your new commute, figuring out who to have lunch with or discovering your new team. These activities are tiring! By starting on a Wednesday, you only have three days of aggressive learning before you can take a two-day break to recharge. To breaks!

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