I am a university student and I just received my very first job offer as a software developer in Germany. I wish to take a break (vacation) before I start my professional career so that I start all recharged! This means starting one month later than what is mentioned in the contract.

How should I put forward my request without sounding "not eager" or awkward?

  • Is it common in your country to take a month off after graduation? Is the company that has offered you a position hiring a number of graduating developers? Do they have a new hire orientation program that you would miss if you delayed by a month? – Justin Cave Apr 13 '15 at 9:30
  • @JustinCave No idea. Again no idea. And again no idea but nice point I should confirm it. – learner Apr 13 '15 at 9:31
  • Just ask them and be honest, if they decline maybe this isn't the company for you. – davidjwest Apr 13 '15 at 12:04
  • How did the date mentioned in the contract get in there? Did you originally tell them that you were available on that date, and then later decided you wanted a month off? – Carson63000 Apr 14 '15 at 5:22
  • @Carson63000 yeah, i just told them i can start from that date. And, later i just had a thought may be to start one month late, it is not a necessary requirement, just a preference. – learner Apr 14 '15 at 7:40

Did they not ask you that how soon you can join? Generally most of company when select candidate they ask that how soon you can join so at that time candidate can given his suitable date and if that date is too late then company ask that can you please join early than that date?

If they did not asked you then its fine. You can ask them [to HR] with your honest reason that you are going to complete your graduation and want little break before start job. I don't think they will have any issue to give you break if they really do not need developer in urgent.

Also I would like to indicate that get Job offer during/just after study complete is really good. It will help you in future career that you have no gap or idle status to find job after study.

So just ask to HR in terms of request about your one month break , If they say yes then enjoy otherwise start job , do not try to convince them forcefully, that is my advice.

  • Thanks for the inputs! They did ask me about earliest possible start date and we had noted down a specific date. But, later I realized it would be nice to start one month later than the specified date. – learner Apr 13 '15 at 11:05
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    @learner - Ahh , I see. Its ok , this happens when we get first job. Sometime we do not think everything at a time but after sometime we realized. so do not worry. Do them request about break and see what they respond. – Helping Hands Apr 13 '15 at 11:09
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    If you haven't yet signed your contract, you can negotiate a starting that that works for both of you. However, if you have, then it is more problematic. It's never an "offence", it's more of a case if the company decides to bind you to your initial start date. Given you have already submitted your request, it's all kind of moot right now :) – Jane S Apr 22 '15 at 23:44
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    @JaneS I got positive response!!! :D Indeed people in Germany understand your personal life!!! So glad!!! – learner Apr 23 '15 at 22:20
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    @learner - Cheers....that's great... – Helping Hands Apr 24 '15 at 4:44

I used to hire a lot of first level helpdesk and technical positions at my company. If I hired someone and they called me back needing a one month vacation before they started, I would tell them to take off as long as they need.

I would then rescind the job offer based on availability and move onto the next candidate. I do not personally know you and you may have a great work ethic but given your question I would put the average person who has your problem in the "not going to work too hard" category.

You just got a job and you need a month off? University isn't a job. I know you are in Germany and not sure about the vacation policy there but in the US most jobs would give you a week the first year. I just simply wouldn't hire someone that "needs" time off when just starting. Seems like the same type that would "need" lots of breaks during the day and "need" to go home early with headaches.

Not trying to be negative towards you, just trying to convey how your reaction might be perceived by a hiring manager.

(also the accepted answer could result in you not having a job)

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    This is indeed very negative. May be in US people do not consider others' personal lives much. – learner Apr 23 '15 at 22:22
  • @learner, in most countries they don't care. This is business. They have needs too and one of those needs is to get new people on board as soon as possible. You got lucky. At least you asked for the change at the right time which was before you signed the contract. Many managers would have rescinded the offer and offered the next person on the list especially at entry level. Don't generalize from one positive response that all companies (or even this company at all times) will always view your personal life as more important than their work. – HLGEM Apr 26 '15 at 19:03

You can ask, but be aware that in this particular situation they would likely say no. You gave them a start date, now you want to change it for what business is going to view as a frivolous reason.

The business has needs too and they likely want you to start on this date. Since this is entry level, they may be starting a group together and providing some training or orientation that they want to do as a group. Or they may have contractual reasons why they have to have you on board by a certain date.

Just asking for a later date after you have accepted an earlier one can get your offer removed in many places because you are now viewed as unreliable. This is a risky move. It can work out, but you are taking a chance that they will decide against you. After all there are lots of entry level people looking for jobs and they may have a second choice who would be willing to come when they want him. At entry level, you have very little leverage in a negotiation. So at least if you do ask, make sure they know you are still willing to come in on the originally agreed date to reduce the risk of them saying, "no thanks."

For the future, If you want a break between jobs, then state this at the time they ask you about a starting date. Never tell them one date and then try to change it later unless a personal emergency has come up.

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