I was recently offered a job role at a company I did placement with. When i heard they were taking in applications for a graduate version of my placement job, I applied. When they were contacting me, they were very posititve and it was basically a when can you start situation. I don't finish my eduacation until the end of May and then i plan to go travelling during the summer.

The first person who i talked to who was my previous boss, was very understanding as I had worked at the company for the past two summers so hadn't had any opportunity to. We talked on maybe three occasions with me saying the same thing each time and him being receptive. He then passed me onto a different manager who he works a lot with and they said they were sending out the job offer. However when we were talking about a start date again and i said at the earliest mid to late august would suit me. He then starts talking about "Office politics" and wanting to get me in a lot sooner. He said they might get me to start a lot sooner and then somehow allow me to go travelling but I can't imagine how that would work as it was going to be 6-8 weeks travelling.

this would be my first graduate job and I would love to work there however I know that I want to travel. He said he would get back to me soon but I'm not sure how i can push for this start date when I don't even know what he means by office politics.


4 Answers 4


As a manager, it can be difficult to keep a job posting open for a candidate who isn't going to be available for several months.

A lot can happen - you might accept another job, the manager might lose the budget for the position, and so on.

It sounds like the manager is proposing to hire you now then grant unpaid leave for you to take your 6 - 8 week trip. This solves a lot of problems for the manager and really doesn't make that much difference for you.

The manager's consideration of the situation and proposed solution to it constitute one example of "office politics".


You want the job and you also want to go travelling. Your boss wants you to start early, but doesn't have a problem with you travelling. This is a problem you should be able to work around.

Granting a new hire specific amounts of unpaid time off in the early part of their job isn't actually that unusual. People often start a new job having a pre-booked trip that won't be covered by normal vacation. 8 weeks is an unusually large amount of time, but for someone just out of college, wanting to travel is not unusual.

What you should do is agree to the new start date, but get it written into the contract that you will get 8 weeks of unpaid leave. Ideally give them the exact dates you want to travel, so they can be specified.

Getting this agreed very specifically is important, so that the company can't change its mind. Written in the contract is ideal, but written agreements from both your boss and HR should do the trick too.

Exactly what is meant by 'office politics' isn't important. It may be something like the boss needing to say he actually has someone started work on a specific project. Or it may be there is a risk of a hiring freeze that could prevent you from starting if you haven't actually done so. Or dozens of other things.


I would suggest if this is a job your really want to forgo the travelling for now.

There is a job opening for a reason: They need work to be done and do not have the resources to get the work done in the time frame needed.

You can always travel later, but jobs you really like are not so easy to come by.

  • please provide a comment if you feel the need to down vote so I can improve my answer or simply learn.
    – Neo
    Feb 13, 2017 at 16:43

Office politics in this case can be pressures to complete a particular project. There could also be financial things like using up budget before a particular date for example(in the UK, financial year starts in April for example).

I would suggest getting some sort of unpaid leave/sabbatical in writing, so it's clear and written down for everyone to know about if you plan to take the job and go travelling later.

Could you perhaps do 3-4 weeks travelling before starting the job, then another 3-4 weeks later on (with agreement from your new employer)?

Just get the travel "clause" in writing. It sounds like they are being accommodating to your request, so chat and work it out.

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