Articles From the Team

Can I delay my start date?

You’ve done it! You have secured a new role that ticks most, if not all, of your boxes. You have received your contract and are happy with the content. You’ve scribbled your name in agreement to the terms. Now what?!

Your start date is probably the thing that needs to confirmed ASAP. If you deliberating a start date its probably because you are wondering whether you are able to delay it, perhaps you have holiday booked or you just fancy a small break between jobs. Whilst a delay may be innocent to you, it is important that this isn’t perceived in a negative way with your new employer. To avoid giving the wrong impression, it is best to be transparent. Let us know where you are up to with the process so that all parties know where they stand. For example, if you have a three month notice period, the new firm will expect you to be with them within three months, not four! A line in the sand has to be drawn somewhere! It is frowned upon to delay your start date too much, no matter how much you keep people in the loop. Your new firm will be very keen for you to start and if we start delaying this unnecessarily, alarms bells may ring and we don’t want that!

Other things to consider…

You could be quite nervous about handing in your notice. You have been with the firm for a long time, even trained there and have a lot of loyalty to them. This would make giving in your notice a more difficult task.

No matter how you feel about the company, your manager or the team, you need to put these emotions aside. It would be terrible to burn any bridges, so it needs to be firm yet respectful.

Your letter of resignation should be short and sweet explaining that you wish to terminate your employment and stating that as per your contract of employment and notice period, your last day shall be x.

Give in your notice face to face where possible, book some time into your head of department’s diary, perhaps. It is more professional and will sit better with the person receiving the information. Be cool, calm and collected when delivering your news.

It may be that you are met with pure emotion from your head of department. They may not receive the news well and be prepared to face many questions. Reply rationally as to why you have accepted this job and make it clear that although, it has taken a lot of thought, you have made up your mind.

If they offer you a higher salary to stay, this may be tempting, but remember the reasons why you were looking for a job in the first place. How does this job fix those problems? In my experience, people who stay for more money, tend to come back to us citing the same reasons as they were six months previously. This is fine, we are always here with no judgement (!), however, happiness and job satisfaction tend to rank higher than a few extra pounds in pockets!

Also, be prepared to face nothing. What if they just accept it and let you go? How do you think that you would react to that? I mean, everyone wants to feel wanted and valued don’t they? My advice would just remain calm and civilised. Remember the bigger picture; you are leaving to somewhere that will value you!

Here at BCL, we are here to talk you through every step of the way. Our job does not end from the moment you accept a role. We are at the other end of the phone, throughout giving in your notice, through any counter offers, through your notice period and beyond. Keep us in the loop with all of your developments and we will be on hand to coach you through!

For more information contact Emma Lester at BCL Legal.

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