Etiquette of Starting a New Job

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I have worked at the same firm for almost 20 years. I have gotten another job, and originally told the new employer that I would give my two weeks notice, and then start that following Monday. Now I am thinking that I would like (need) a week to do nothing before I begin my new job. Is it okay to ask the company to wait an additional week for me to start?

Dear Anonymous,
Employment etiquette dictates to give two weeks notice to an employer. If you have a leadership role, then one month is the rule. As for how quickly you start your new position, that is up to you and the new firm to agree upon a date. If they are hiring you, then they clearly are looking forward to having you in this position. Negotiating an extra week before you start is not unheard of in the employment arena. The worst they can do it say no. I would be surprised if they deny your request, because they want you to start off with a good attitude about your new role.