Suppose you were just offered a new job and the company is fairly flexible with your start date. How much time should you take, if any, between gigs? And what should you do with that time?
Career and workplace experts suggest taking at least one week off to allow yourself to refresh, recharge, and refocus — but some say two weeks is ideal, if you can swing it.
Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit, Inc., blogger, and author of “TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen to You Every Day,” says taking time off can help you mentally prepare for this next big chapter in your life. “There is always a learning curve, and you’ll want to be your best and freshest when you start.”
Taking some time between jobs also gives your brain a chance to take a break, to process leaving your old job (which can be pretty emotional, whether you loved or hated it), and to prepare for all the new challenges to come, adds Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs.
If you’re starting a new job, here are 13 things you should do in the interim to set yourself up for success:
Miriam Salpeter, job search coach, owner of
Keppie Careers, and author of 'Social Networking for Career Success' and '100 Conversations for Career Success,' says your break between jobs is the perfect time to schedule doctor appointments and deliveries that require you to be home, and to run any errands that may be difficult to get done once you start your new job.
'Take advantage of not having to be reachable during the day, and stop checking your email or looking at Facebook for an afternoon or two,' says Sutton Fell. 'This gives you a chance to reset your brain.'
Instead of staring at a screen for hours on end — which you'll probably have to do as soon as you start your new job — pick up a book you've been dying to read, or go take an exercise class you've been wanting to try.
'Before starting a new job, take the time to ensure that you are maintaining the relationships you had formed at your previous job,' Kahn says.
Make sure you have contact information for the people that you worked with in the past, and plan on checking in with them on a regular basis once you're in your new role.
We know we said earlier you should take a break from technology -- but it's ok (and advised!) to take an hour to two during your time off to update your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles with your new company and job title.
In today's competitive job market, the more senior the position, the more you will be scrutinised in those first few months, Kahn says.
'You'll be expected to hit the ground running versus spending time learning the ropes. Get a head start by researching the industry and the company, and learning as much as you can about the position and the team you will be working with,' he suggests.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.