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?
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.
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.
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.