Finding a new job when you don’t have one

Microsoft Jazz40
Nov 11, 2018 23 Comments

I’m considering leaving my job to take a 6 month break due to personal/health reasons. I’m not sick, but want to spend time getting more fit and generally enjoy life with less stress etc. I have 15 years of experience and can afford to do this financially for 6 months.

Would it be tough to get back to work after a break? Has anyone done this in the past and what was your experience? Do recruiters and companies see the break as a negative sign or are they understanding?

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TOP 23 Comments
  • Xperi Djididixkd
    Try to get an offer somewhere else with a late starting date before leaving your current job and enjoy the free time before starting the new job.
    Nov 11, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      Thanks so much. If I can pull this off, this would be the most ideal 😀
      Nov 11, 2018
  • Google / Eng fanglife
    15yoe and you only have enough money to last for 6 months, wtf? Shouldn't you be a multimillionaire by now and be able to retire early at will?
    Nov 11, 2018 4
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      You need a lot more money to retire and live comfortably my friend. I could probably go for a year or 2, but I don’t want to lose a big part of my savings. 6 months seemed reasonable without causing a dent.
      Nov 11, 2018
    • Google / Eng fanglife
      I disgree. 2M is more than enough to FIRE for anyone, assuming you'd move into a low CoL area and can live without excessive luxury. Invested in stocks that's $3k a month in dividends alone, about an average salary nationwide. In Europe you can even retire on 800k-1M just fine e.g. in Portugal
      Nov 11, 2018
    • Facebook Hello worl
      not everyone wants to live on 3k/month in their 30s with a wife and kids in a low cost area.. Maybe he has friends and a life where he is and enjoys his job/location but simply wants a break?
      Nov 11, 2018
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      3k/month is not an option for me. I have a family and mortgages and my monthly expense is much higher. Moving is also not an option. I plan on maintaining my current lifestyle in future as well, so I think 6 months is an ideal ‘idle period’ for me.
      Nov 11, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      Thanks. Sounds reasonable.
      Nov 11, 2018
  • LiquidHub FsKP78
    Absolutely explainable later as needed, while I’m sure others can give you better advice as to how to best position it at that time. I absolutely advise taking the break if you need it. I would consider whether I would rather, as a worst case scenario, look back at my life and worry I didn’t care enough for my career (sounds unlikely) or myself. As a matter of full disclosure, I wish my father had given himself a break before he absolutely had to, so I am admittedly biased on this question.
    Nov 11, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      Thank you. I agree I really need the break!
      Nov 11, 2018
  • Collective Health / Eng Gotosleep
    Do what everyone else is telling you and find a new job with a six month away start date.
    Nov 11, 2018 3
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      This is a great idea, but I’m not sure how easily I will find a job now, considering I have done no prep yet and I have not worked outside MS. I’ll give this a try before I quit for sure.
      Nov 11, 2018
    • Collective Health / Eng Gotosleep
      Make it your only option. Don’t quit till you have a job lined up for the future. It will take a ton of stress off your shoulders knowing when you quit your job you can truly relax without a worry in your mind.
      Nov 12, 2018
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      Thank you. I will spend the next 2-4 months finding another job, Ideally I would like to be out until end of summer/ September for 6 months to spend some time traveling with kids and family when they are free. I hope the new company will agree to a delayed start date.
      Nov 12, 2018
  • Expedia Djxnwk
    If your skills are in high demand, maybe a month to find a new job. I went from no job to new job in 28 days once
    Nov 11, 2018 0
  • Adobe Zxcvbasdfg
    I did it for 2.5 months. I was burned out and depressed so I made an appointment with a psychologist for counseling. She wrote me a reference letter and I took short term disability leave.

    Came back with a different perspective on how I look at my job and how to handle stress better.

    There will be a bit stigma if you come back to the same group so you might want to look for another job or a different group after this.
    Nov 11, 2018 4
    • Apple MTDA75
      Agree with this recommendation. I had similar experience but mine was an unpaid leave. The time off (3 months) gave me my fire and mojo back, but my career growth stagnated over the subsequent 4 years. Lateral moves only. So, if you do have the option to go back, set yourself up so you land in a new team/role.
      Nov 11, 2018
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      This looks like a good option, but I don’t have any visible issues except tired of work and no time and energy for anything else. I will explore this as well and see if it would work. I don’t want to return to my current team, so if I chose this I will look for a new job as soon as I return.
      Nov 11, 2018
    • Adobe Zxcvbasdfg
      I think a visit to a psychologist will help regardless. You don’t have to display a severe symptom. People have different reactions. Some might be like yours (no energy or motivation to do other things - that’s a sign of depression as well).

      My career stagnated for 5 years after this because I returned to the same team but it ends up ok at the end. I jumped to a great company and landed a good role and in much better place now.
      Nov 12, 2018
    • Microsoft Jazz40
      OP
      Thank you so much. Will explore this option.
      Nov 12, 2018
  • Microsoft Jazz40
    OP
    Thank you so much for your comments and support everyone. It would be great to get additional insights from people about the challenges they faced when they tried to get back to work. Did everyone have a positive experience with the break, or did anyone find it hard to find a job later. I’m not great with interviews and I will need to prep really hard as I have only worked at MS until now.
    Nov 11, 2018 1
    • Expedia Fhsmax
      One last thing wrt MS specifically. Have you thought about trying the sabbatical/other type of leave approach? That way you keep your job, but get this time off.
      Nov 11, 2018
  • Uber ErVbs
    Do it! I did the same and didn’t have trouble when interviewing. If asked about the break, be honest.
    Nov 11, 2018 0