What would you think of a mid level candidate taking 3-4 months off after 4 yrs in their career?

Hiring managers- what would you think of a mid level candidate taking 3-4 months off after 4 yrs in their career?
I’m almost 4 years out of school, and have been pretty burnt out due to the pandemic and a stressful job. I’m considering taking some time off after my current job to properly search for a new gig, travel, and think about what I’d like to spend the next bit of time doing.
Would this be a red flag as a hiring manager when I go to look for a new job? I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while, but figured it would be better to wait until I’m further in my career or made senior (likely 3-6 months away from that, although I’m pretty burnt out)


I routinely have taken multiple months off in-between jobs. I always made sure to stay a little engaged with my industry or pursued some related idea to have something for my resume. It has never come up in a negative way in an interview.


I wouldn’t worry about the 4 months. Especially if you have at least a 2-year stint in one company on your resume (guess 1 year is enough in San Francisco :slightly_smiling_face:
If you have a resume of 6 different companies in a span of 4 years then maybe it’s good to take 4 months off. Makes for a good story when you come back to say that you wanted to take some time off to understand why yourself better so that you don’t jump between companies.
So any way you spin this. Take the 4 months off. You’ll have a good story for interviews when you come back and it could be an asset. You’ll have the interviewer saying, “ah, I want to do that too”


4 months wouldn’t be an issue. Some hiring managers I know would ask to see if you were just hiding a job that didn’t work out in there, but I’m not aware of any that would hold back from interviewing because of it


I agree with @YuriRoman. I have not been put off from interviewing anyone with a 4 month gap. The story is a good one to share with employers. I hire more for culture add and culture fit. This can be hard to find for some candidates early in their careers.
It become a little more worrisome when there is a longer pattern of work and long breaks.


Just to add to your n , time off between jobs doesn’t in any way enter into my consideration set when I’m evaluating a candidate.


In fact, I’ll add that I’m not even concerned with whether you have a good story about the gap. I’m more interested in what you’ve accomplished when than I am any time that you took off for personal reasons.

  1. The fact that someone would take this as a red flag should indicate that you don’t want to work in that organization.
  2. I wouldn’t take it as a red flag but I’d ask about it. Interesting things come from that question more often than not. This question and the answer tend to be an opportunity to get to know someone as a person.
  3. This community tends to be biased towards kindness and progressive in the workplace (as all tech is). Don’t take the answers you get here as a market consensus - it’s a consensus, but only within tech. You are 100% going to be judged in more ruthless, cutthroat industries like investment banking.

For context: I’m a CEO in a consulting company in CEE. I’ve done ~2000 interviews on various positions so far.


@JesusRojas, I think everyone here is saying some version of “DO IT!!!” :smile: Take your break, live your life, and design your next chapter intentionally. I love that you are acknowledging your burnout and recognizing that to make a smart decision about “what’s next” you first need some space.

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As someone who has hired ~100 people, I’d agree, do it. I’ve never seen a candidate knocked for this.

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