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Background:

I work for a service based company at client location. I received a new work opportunity, but the joining date is not near. It's about 45 days from now.

My question:

Would it leave a bad impression with my future employer if I stay unemployed for approximately one month before joining?

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    Are your only reasons for taking a month off without being paid "it's better for the company"? Because you'll be losing a big chunk of money on this, and if you spend the month hanging on the couch as a result it would at the very least be a little weird. – Erik Feb 20 '18 at 7:46
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    Honestly, I can't see how quitting early would help the company. Telling them, sure, but wouldn't they prefer you to get your replacement up to speed? Notifying your employer that you're going to leave soon-ish is not the same as leaving, is it? – Ruther Rendommeleigh Feb 20 '18 at 8:08
  • What is the notice period at your current job? – Masked Man Feb 20 '18 at 8:21
  • Related but not a duplicate since this covers the actual negotiation of a delayed start date. – Lilienthal Feb 20 '18 at 8:37
  • If I understand correctly, you have already agreed on a start-date with you future employer. I see no need to even talk further to them about the exact wheres and when´s of your end-date at your previous employer unless they specifically asked you to join as early as possible. – Daniel Feb 20 '18 at 10:14
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Can I take one month break between two jobs?

Absolutely. This is perfectly normal, especially in the US where longer vacations are otherwise rare. For most people, especially high-performers with busy schedules, the downtime when changing jobs is one of the few real extended breaks they can enjoy.

Would it leave a bad impression with my future employer

Only if they have communicated a very urgent time line to you and wanted you to start as soon as possible. In those cases it can come across as tone deaf that you're taking a full month off. But even in those cases it would be fine so long as you're upfront with them and properly discuss your time line. A four week break can be hard to sell in some parts of the world but if you stick to your guns a reasonable employer will accept that. Great employers will understand the importance of disconnecting and will welcome the fact that you can start mentally and physically rested. If it comes up, offer some version of "The earliest I can leave my current employer is the Xth and I plan to take a full month off to recharge and take care of some things I've been putting off."

If you're worried they might try to negotiate you can open that conversation by stating that you'll take five or six weeks off but are willing to reduce it to four or some equivalent there-of.

Needless to say you should have this discussion on time line with this prospective employer before you resign from your current job and ideally before you accept their offer. If they originally were fine with a two month notice period and are suddenly pushing back on getting you started earlier when they find out you're "only taking a vacation" that's a potential red flag as it indicates a cavalier attitude towards disconnecting and taking time off. That might impact your decision to accept their offer.


You already have an agreed-upon start date but if you hadn't this question covers that discussion.

  • Great answer. I took a 6 week break between my last to gigs. Nice to take the break if you can afford it. – Mister Positive Feb 20 '18 at 12:23
  • New employer offered me a joining date which is 45 days from now. So my one month vacation wouldn't overlap the joining date which new employer has offered. I was just worried about how the potential employer might look at me resigning early. I guess your reply answers my question. – user83062 Feb 20 '18 at 16:53
  • @varunma I think the only reason the new employer would be offended is if you misled them somehow; for example, if you told them you could not start for 45 days because you have other obligations at your current company. If they are the ones suggesting or imposing the 45 day timeline, they have absolutely no business how you spend that time. – Bryan Krause Feb 23 '18 at 21:06
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There's what you can do and what you should do. Having a six week gap between jobs is no big deal.

However, WHY do you want to do this? You are basically giving up six weeks of salary. To be nice to your ex-employer. Guess what: Once you quit your job, you owe them nothing. They wouldn't think twice about firing you at the worst possible time for you if it suits them. If you have two weeks notice, that was an agreement where everyone understands the consequences: You can be without a job and money within two weeks, and the company can be without an employee within two weeks. (In other countries, notice is usually a lot longer. Then you have the opposite consequences: With two months notice, your company has to pay you for two months even if they want to get rid of you, and you have to work for them for two months, even if you want to leave).

So you should think really, really hard if you can afford to lose six weeks salary for nothing. If you are planning a long unpaid holiday anyway, go ahead. But not to be nice to your company.

  • Please take another look at this - the question has been edited and parts of your answer no longer apply. – GreenMatt Feb 23 '18 at 20:51

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