Were you lucky enough to have secured a job while currently employed and found yourself with some time on your hands between jobs? Are you debating asking to take a few months before the start date or power through to your new position with only a weekend to get ready? Find out what steps you should think about before scheduling your start date.
How much time to take off: If you can – take a week off. Were you thinking of taking a trip to Mexico in a few months or spending time visiting with your mom and dad? Book your ticket and go. Keep in mind that most firms ask you to stay 2 weeks for your work to get sorted out and for them to hire a replacement. Always leave on good terms and offer to give them this grace period. Your new company will understand and also admire your loyalty. Have a conversation with your new boss about a start date. Find out if it is flexible and if you can push it back a week. They want you to start the job feeling energized as opposed to feeling stressed and crunched for time.
Schedule in ME time: Take the time to relax but also to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Treat yourself to a massage, new power outfit or out to a nice dinner. You aced a job in a dim market and should take the time to be proud of yourself.
Use this “free time” to spend time with family and friends. When you start any new job you should expect to work longer hours – at least the first several months. Utilize this time to make the most of being at home. Whether that’s helping out with the PTA, planning a dinner party or watching your niece’s dance recital – you’ll be happy to experience it before the new gig starts.
Did someone say, ohm?: Your mantra during this time should be refresh, recharge and relax. When you relax you actually tend to be most creative and get your best ideas. Your mind is at ease and you are free to brainstorm in an open environment. It’s also a great time to concentrate on all of the great work you’ve done and update your LinkedIn Profile. Let your Network know that you’ll be starting a new gig. You should also update your experience from your old job and include the last few months of projects and presentations you were working on. The best time to do it is now – since it is fresh on your mind. It’s also a good time to study your new gig and get to know your co-workers. Check out their profiles and work history. See any commonalties that can help you break the ice the first few weeks? Is someone a part of the same alma mater, charity committee, Industry Group? Being able to insert these tidbits in conversation will help create a more relaxed work environment for you.
Don’t be out to lunch…: You might have a long stretch between employment – say 6 months – which is actually fairly common since very large firms typically hire in January and June. You might think becoming a beach bum for those months is the best way to use this time but you’d be wrong. Sure, sitting on the beach is fun for a week or two but you need to keep your head in the game. Stay on top of industry news with LinkedIn Pulse. Has your new company been mentioned in the news? If so, this is the time to reach out to your new supervisor and check in and indirectly let them know you’ve been keeping abreast of the company and industry. You always want to be top of mind and this is a great way to do so between jobs.