So you’ve made it through the interview and have been offered a job, but should you take a little time off before starting to relax and unwind or jump right in to maintain a continuous income? Depending on your mindset and place in life, each option might be tempting in its own way. Here are several questions you should ask yourself before making your decision and some tips on how to answer them:
Can you afford to miss work?
Probably the most pressing issue to consider before deciding to take a break from work is expenses. Some people are forced into work immediately due to a mandated start date or financial complications, but for those who can afford it, and really need some recharge time, taking a few days between jobs may help in getting into the right mindset for a new job. If you are unsure about the affordability of missed work, ask yourself the following questions:
• Is it feasible for you to miss a paycheck? Absolutely make sure you can afford to take the time off before you make the decision. And understand that you may not receive your first paycheck for several weeks depending on the schedule of your new employer.
• Will you lose any of your benefits? Usually, leaving a job also entails losing health insurance and other benefits. These benefits may end immediately upon leaving your old job or you may have a grace period of continued coverage. If you anticipate any medical needs during your job transition, taking time off between jobs may become an even more expensive proposition.
Are you mentally prepared for a new job?
After financial considerations are out of the way, it is time to consider your frame of mind— particularly your mental and emotional health. These personal aspects can have a great impact on your performance at work and if there are deficiencies in these areas it may be necessary to take some time between jobs to correct them. The free time can be used to help regulate your sleep cycle, plan a healthier diet, spend quality time with family, friends, or yourself, and get some exercise. If you feel you need some time to reboot, use your days off to get yourself in order so that you can be mentally prepared for your new position.
Are you burned out from your last job?
Was one of the main reasons you walked out of your most recent occupation due to stress? If so, it may be a good idea to take some time to relax before walking into another stressful work situation. Though you may feel great about getting out of your old position and into a new and better job, you’re probably still suffering from the effects of stress that your old job brought. Strongly consider taking some time off to recharge as your new job will undoubtedly bring its own set of stressors.
Do you need some time to reacquaint yourself with unused skills?
You may be entering into a job that will challenge you in ways your previous work never did or require the use of skills you haven’t had to practice for a long time. If this is the case, you may genuinely need to take some time between jobs to reacquaint yourself with those tools and skills you will need to succeed in your new position. A few days off may be just the thing to ensure that you are sharp and energized on your first day.