Congratulations — you got hired!

After an exhaustive search filled with countless résumés’ sent, nerve-wracking interviews completed, and too many unanswered emails, YOU were chosen by a company for the unique value and skills only you can provide their organization.

That’s the good news. The bad news? They want you to start quickly. As in, next week.

It is tempting to respond to an immediate on boarding with a resounding YES (being wanted feels good!), but take a deep breath and ask yourself a few questions:

Do you need some time to transition out of a current position? If so, how long?

Are you currently freelancing? How long until you feel you’ve wrapped things up and left your client satisfied with the work you’ve completed?

— Even if you are unemployed, are there things you would like to cross off your list before jumping into a new job?

If you are at all able, I suggest negotiating a minimum of a few weeks off before starting your next job for a few reasons.


Now is the perfect time to justify the haircut, the dry-cleaning, the many personal grooming tasks you might have been avoiding in an effort to save money. You will thank yourself when you enter the new office on your first day and feel pulled together, fresh, and exuding confidence as the best version of yourself.


Do you need to make new childcare arrangements? Will you have energy to cook those first few weeks after starting?  A couple little energy spent before you begin the new job can mean the difference between a smooth transition to your new role, and a complete meltdown when you realize there’s no food in the fridge and your kids are without after school activities. (The meltdown being yours, by the way.) Take a minute now to plan these details out so you can enjoy the off time after starting a new job.


A new job – even one you’re excited for, takes mental and physical energy. Until you’re acclimated to your new role and work culture, you’re likely to come home a bit drained. Incorporating life giving hobbies and practices now while you have some margin will help you maintain them in your schedule after you begin working. Whether that’s a yoga class, more pleasure reading, or a commitment to corralling your girlfriends together for a night out, you need to prioritize your sense of self out side of work in order to stay balanced and avoid burn out.

You have the power to determine what your first day at the new job looks like. If they’ve offered you a job, they are very likely willing to wait. Show them you’re worth waiting for by negotiating what it is you need to feel your best when you show up on your first day.


Après is a career resource for women returning to work after a break or transitioning within the workforce. Reconnect with your professional self — search jobs, get inspired, find resources, and refresh your skills. Join our community of women helping women.

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