So, you found a great job, aced the interview and received a job offer. Congrats! Getting the job offer is the first half of the challenge. Now, you have to decide when to start and prepare yourself for the new challenge. It's tempting to want to start right away, but that isn't always the right choice. Before you pick a day and start working at the new job, there are a few things you should consider.
Are you emotionally and mentally ready to start? - If you've been out of work for a week or longer, the answer might be easy. However, if you are leaving your old job on Friday, you might not be ready to start a new project on Monday. It's important to take some time to clear your head from your previous job in order to be fresh and ready to learn new things.
Can you afford a break between jobs? - Take a look at your finances and see if you can afford to take a long weekend, a week or even just a day or two before you start. Make a list of how much it will cost you to work at your new job and be sure that you can cover things like lunch and gas back and forth until you get your first paycheck. Depending on how the company does their payroll, you may not receive a paycheck for three or four weeks after your start date.
When do your benefits expire?- If you have employer provided health insurance or a 401K, it's important to find out when the coverage ends. Depending on their policy and the health insurance plan, it typically ends on your last day of employment or at the end of the month. Take this information into consideration before deciding to take a break between jobs.
Do you need to make any changes to your wardrobe? - Depending on the dress code, you may need to buy new clothes or add a few items to your wardrobe. If so, it might be difficult to find what you need in one evening. If you need to find new professional work clothes, you might want to allow yourself at least two days to hunt down the best deals on these items.
Will you need to brush up on your skills? - If the new position will require you to use skills you haven't used in awhile or in areas where you are weak, you could use a short break to brush up on those skills. For example, if you took a week break, you could read some management books or do some research into the areas where you feel you aren't as strong. If the employer gave you a handbook or other material to review, make sure that you have enough time to read them. Showing up on the first day without having even taken a look at them will send the wrong message.
When you change jobs, do you typically take a break between them? If so, how long?