Can I Take a Leave of Absence to Try Another Job?
When you’ve been working in the same job for a while, it can be tempting to take a break and try something new. But, is it possible to take a leave of absence from your current job to try another one? The answer is yes, but it’s important to understand the process and the potential risks before you take that plunge.
What is a Leave of Absence?
A leave of absence is a period of time when an employee takes a break from work without having to quit their job. It can be taken for a variety of reasons, such as medical issues, family matters, or simply to try out a new job. Depending on the employer and the situation, a leave of absence can be paid or unpaid, and it can last anywhere from a few days to several months.
How to Ask for a Leave of Absence
If you’re considering taking a leave of absence to try out a new job, the first step is to talk to your employer about it. Make sure you clearly explain the reason for your request and provide as much detail as possible. Be prepared to discuss potential dates and the length of your leave, and be open to any suggestions or compromises that your employer may have.
What to Consider Before Taking a Leave of Absence
Before taking a leave of absence, there are a few things you should consider:
- Financial Impact: If your leave is unpaid, will you be able to cover your living expenses during the time away?
- Job Security: Is there a chance your current employer won’t be willing to take you back after your leave ends?
- Future Opportunities: How will taking a leave of absence affect your future job prospects?
What to Include in Your Leave of Absence Agreement
If your employer agrees to your leave of absence, you should make sure to have an official agreement in place. This should include details such as the start and end dates of your leave, any pay or benefits you will receive during the period, and any conditions that must be met for your return.
What if Your Employer Refuses Your Request?
If your employer refuses your request for a leave of absence, you should ask them to explain the reasons why. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to come to an agreement. For example, if the reason is financial, you may be able to negotiate a shorter or unpaid leave.
Risks of Taking a Leave of Absence
Taking a leave of absence can be a risky move, as it can affect your job security and future employment prospects. Before taking a leave, you should consider the potential risks, such as:
- Loss of Benefits: Depending on the length of your leave, you may lose access to certain benefits such as health insurance or paid vacation time.
- Loss of Seniority: If you take a long leave of absence, you may lose any seniority you have built up in your current job.
- Lack of Job Security: If your employer decides not to re-hire you after your leave, you will have to start looking for a new job.
Tips for Taking a Leave of Absence
If you’re considering taking a leave of absence to try out a new job, here are some tips to help you make the most of it:
- Stay in Touch: Make sure to stay in touch with your employer while you’re away. This will help to ensure that you’re kept up to date with any changes and that your job is secure upon your return.
- Save Money: If your leave is unpaid, make sure you save enough money to cover your living expenses during the period.
- Be Flexible: Be prepared to be flexible if your employer has any requests or changes to the leave agreement.
What if the New Job Doesn’t Work Out?
If the new job doesn’t work out, you may be able to return to your previous job. However, it’s important to discuss this with your employer before you take the leave of absence, as they may not be willing to re-hire you.
Taking a leave of absence to try out a new job can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it’s important to make sure you understand the process and the potential risks before you make the decision. Make sure to talk to your employer about it and be prepared to consider any compromises or suggestions they may have. With the right planning and preparation, your leave of absence can be a successful and rewarding one.