This is now the second time that I’ve transitioned jobs, and the same question popped up for me that did last time – Should I take time off between jobs?
I gave my two week’s notice at job #1 and started immediately at job #2 the Monday following the end of my two weeks.
In hindsight… this was a rough call. I was burnt out from a little bit of work travel, and I hadn’t had any time off since December just because I was saving my vacation time for my vacation to Greece in the summer. So, I started job #2 a little bit off my game, and I was frantic and anxious for my first month.
As I got ready to transition from job #2 to my new position that I started this week (eek!), I had all intentions of doing the same thing again. Two week’s notice would land the Friday before I would need to start at the new job.
Things wrapped up unexpectedly, though, so I ended up with two weeks off.
I left the office on the Friday that I gave my notice in a little bit of a daze…
What would I do with all of that free time? Should I take a mini trip? How many books can I read in two weeks?
It has been an adventure, to say the least.
So, should I take time off between jobs?
Do as I say, not as I do, right?
I would always, always, always recommend to get at least a week of time in between jobs, especially if you’re likely to drop right into the middle of things.
Of course, this isn’t always an option. When I transitioned from job #1 to job #2, the new position was a more urgent need, and I was asked to start as soon as I could.
You also don’t want to get some time off in between jobs at the expense of cutting your notice short at your current position.
But if you have some flexibility there, take advantage of it. Like I said, do as I say, not as I do.
If I could do my first transition over again, I would’ve likely pushed for a few days to myself to settle into my new routine, clean my house or catch up on things I’d been putting off – especially now that I’ve had the last two weeks to myself.
Something you should know about me
I am a worker bee.
Seriously, I am a worker. I am always working.
When I informed one of my best friends about this situation, she laughed (seriously, I could hear her all the way from Washington, D.C.) and said, “When was the last time you didn’t have to work? How old were you, 14?”)
Well, as a matter of fact…
I’ve been working at something since I was 14 and a half. I started bussing tables as soon as I could get a job at a restaurant, and I worked my way up to being a waitress. After that, I worked at my hometown Food Lion until I got to college.
I didn’t work during my freshman year, but I did work in the summer and on holidays. And in my sophomore year, I started working both at The Daily Tar Heel and at a restaurant a family friend owned. Since then… it’s been constant. Seriously, constant.
So, telling myself that I didn’t have a job to do for two weeks… It’s been an adjustment.
Sure, I’ve taken vacations. But honestly, the Greece vacation in July was the first vacation I’ve ever taken where I didn’t have my phone on me.
How I spent my unexpected two weeks of “vacation”
Surprisingly enough, I’ve been up and out of bed by 9:30 a.m. at the latest every morning except for the weekends.
When my alarm went off at 8 a.m., I usually started to stir, poked through my phone and climbed out of bed when I feel awake, which is my ideal way of waking up. (If I have to wake up at all.)
I would take Theo outside, which was a quick adventure and not a short walk like we usually aim for in the mornings since it has been so freaking hot and when it’s not hot as hell, the world is very, very, very wet. North Carolina in the late summer, y’all. We don’t know what to do with ourselves.
Then I made breakfast – usually a scrambled egg, because my nutritionist wants me to eat more protein, but sometimes I just grabbed a jar of almond butter and a spoon because I’m me.
(Fun story: On the first day of my two week funemployment adventure, I scrambled two eggs for myself and one for Theo. I used to do this all the time but fell out of the routine when my job schedule became a little more inconsistent. He devoured the egg and then threw up all over my house. Fun.)
And from there… given I didn’t try to overfeed my dog, I spent most of the morning and early afternoon at my desk.
A few things I had been able to tackle and even get ahead on are…
- Social media scheduling for my Facebook page and Facebook group
- Building a database of social media posts that I can recycle
- Writing blog posts and scheduling in advance, plus keeping some in my files for a week when I’m totally swamped
- Catching up on customer followups
- Finishing up some small details here on the blog
By the early afternoon, Pat was usually ready to grab lunch or get coffee, so we headed out for a little while.
And then the later afternoon would be a mystery. I’m not much of a binge watcher, and for some reason, most of the books I picked up didn’t hold my interest. So Pat and I played games on our Nintendo Switch, I napped, I played with the dog.
My days were somehow wildly productive and also wildly boring. It was very not-Paige.
What I loved about funemployment
I 100% loved that I was completely in control of my own day and how it went. I know I couldn’t handle this lack of purpose for much longer, but I did love being able to structure my day around what I wanted to achieve.
What I hated about funemployment
I do not like to be bored, y’all.
I do not like to sit still.
I do not like to lay around.
And if I do sit still and lay around, I will take a nap, because the one thing I do love to do is sleep.
I did not feel particularly inspired to tackle some of the cleaning and organizing projects I had decided I would tackle, either, so I am still leaving these two weeks off with an ambitious to do list of things like organizing my kitchen cabinets. (One day, I’ll do that. Or maybe we’ll just move.)
I also decided at the end of July that I would start a spending freeze in August and do no extraneous spending on clothes, shoes, etc. Basically, I was banning myself from TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, HomeGoods, Old Navy and the world of online shopping.
Needless to say, this started on the first day in which I was home with no job and nothing to do, but face my serious retail therapy cravings.
I know with this busy year that’s ahead of me (my new job is based off of the academic calendar, so this is our busiest time!) I will be glad I had this extra time off, and I am glad, honestly.
But I also know that taking long, long, long vacations or “staycations” is not in the cards for my future. One week is plenty of time away from having a purpose, thank you!
What about you? Have you taken a staycation before? Have you had a long period of time off between jobs? How’d it go?