I've just been offered a new job in a senior position . My current notice period is 12 weeks. I really want some time off before I start the new job. I haven't had a proper break from work in years.. My last holiday 8 months ago went tragically wrong. What would be the best way to ask for a month off between the jobs? Or is that asking too much?

  • 4
    Why not just ask your new employer for a later start date? They don't need to know what you're doing before you start work.
    – David K
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:05
  • Yes I could, they know my notice period and might question why I'm having a month between jobs and might want someone else who can start sooner
    – davey
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:07
  • Then just be honest and say you'd like to take this opportunity to do some traveling. Most companies won't mind at all. If they do mind, they will tell you so. There's a difference between asking to start later and telling them you need to start later.
    – David K
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:15
  • Also, related: "Travelling on vacation between jobs" and "Taking a break to travel between jobs"
    – David K
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:16
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    The company should appreciate to welcome a relaxed new employee rather than a stressed one. Your entry date is entirely negotiable. You are not a slave, you sell your work force for money and you are only negotiating your terms of employment. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:28

3 Answers 3


I have been faced with this before as a manager.

It depends on your manager and the situation they are in the middle of. I have had a vacant position for 3+ months and filled it with a candidate that I believed was worth waiting for. Come to find out, they wanted a 2 week vacation before starting which put them a month out from starting (2 week notice). I was in the position at the time to afford it because I believed that "good things are worth waiting for". I'm glad I did it - the employee won't forget my flexibility and gave me instant credibility for sticking to my word - (I always advertise position flexibility).

Had there been fires and we needed them to start ASAP, there's really no avoiding that.

It does not hurt to communicate and ask. I suggest leaving it low pressure and reaffirm that it is 100% at their discretion without any ill feelings.

Good luck.

  • Thanks Craig, like you say no harm in asking. I am manager myself but I haven't been in this position before. Just hope they are willing to wait 4 months for me. We will see.
    – davey
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:25

After my graduation, I too wanted a break before I began my new job as I thought it would relax me. However, I literally jumped from giving my exam on Friday to starting work on Monday and I have worked every summer so my vacation record is pretty much nonexistent. But honestly, I never regret not taking a break because I genuinely feel that when I am more comfortable in my role, I can ask for a break then. Asking for one without even starting the role may come across as too laid-back, relaxed and may give the impression of not taking your job seriously enough.

  • I'm 36, so have been working for a while now. After I graduated I was also straight into a job. Just feel I need a break from work as this will be a very demanding role I . Want to know the best way to ask for this with out jeopardising the opportunity.
    – davey
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:05
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    davey - Think about what you've suggested is a possible outcome for asking.. If a manager would go as far as to canceling the engagement with you over simply asking for a later start date, then maybe working for that individual is a bad idea to begin with. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:13
  • That is not really an answer and a very bad piece of advice. Taking vacations is essential for maintaining physical and mental health, which is ultimately also in the interest of your company / the industry. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:33
  • @domonik. A bigger bad piece of advice is to lose on something just because of a simple thing as vacation. I am sure a job that pays you is more crucial to live and succeed than a vacation, so all I am saying is try to make the best first impression. I have seen plenty of times where a company would go with someone else simply due to the availability issues. so no, I dont think this is bad piece of advice.
    – Noor
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 16:59

You could give your notice at your current job, and ask if you have to stay the full 12 weeks. Just resigning and leaving could burn the bridge at that job, so if you'd prefer to not do that, then asking shouldn't hurt. You could even explain where you are coming from and why you want the time off if you feel that they will say no. If you can swing not getting paid (assuming you don't get paid for just leaving early) and are honest with your current employer (as well as you work hard, which it seems you do based on no vacation in 8 months!), I think this is the best route.

If you have PTO or some form of vacation left, some companies do allow that to be taken at the end of the employment, but not all do this. (I'd check in your contract/paperwork or with HR about this.) Also, your new company may allow you to take your PTO before you start, but you'd have to check about probationary periods and what not for that sort of thing.

  • 1
    I will work my 12 weeks notice. I wouldn't leave my current employer in the lurch as I am involved in some very big projects at the moment also I couldn't do that to my team.. Don't want to burn any bridges as well, as I do really enjoy my current job and may end up going back there one day. Good shout on the PTO/Vacation will look into that.
    – davey
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:31
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    I truly think you should simply ASK at your current employer, if you could leave six weeks early. They may be happy to save the money since someone new is coming. Everyone is much less replaceable than they think (unfortunately!) I am certain your team would be happy to see you having a real break.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 0:58

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