Help leaving a job
November 22, 2011 9:32 AM   Subscribe

My work and I have a last day in mind for me (I'm working and in school, and it just got too much this semester). However, a family situation came up, and I need to leave earlier than my last day. I need help on how to negotiate this with my work.

I'm planning on late December being my last day at work. I haven't formally submitted a letter saying so, but it's something I've discussed with my direct supervisor. We just talked about it yesterday, and, since she's going out of town starting today for the holiday, said we'll formally submit the info to HR, etc next Monday. I'm leaving on good terms. It's an administrative-type job, too, if that matters.

However, last night I got a call from my parents with some upsetting medical news from them; there's a family situation happening, and it's very important to them that I come home for Christmas. I am hoping to do so. However, it would involve me quitting my job about two weeks earlier than we originally discussed. Making it more tricky is that December is a busy time of year for my job.

How should I discuss this with my work? How should I present it? Should I wait until Monday, or get in touch my with my supervisor now?

Thank you.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Get in touch with your supervisor now, say "I've received some upsetting medical news from my family and I need to be home for Christmas. My last day will be December XX."

The reality is that if they need advance notice before you quit they would give you a contract that requires it and guarantees you advance notice in advance of being laid off in return. Stuff happens, your primary responsibility is to your family. This sort of situation is not unusual and they will know how to deal with it - don't over think it.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:37 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]

This really isn't hard. Go talk to your supervisor now, tell them whats up and that you have to go, specifics aren't needed just say what you've said here. There's no reason to say more.

Notice of quitting is a courtesy (and a good one) but not a requirement.

Also I don't know where you work, but most places I've worked with the holidays and all leaving mid-December isn't really going to mean much more then leaving at the end of December.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:41 AM on November 22, 2011

I agree that this shouldn't be hard. If the company had to let you go earlier than the agreed end date, they would have no qualms about letting you go.
posted by LeanGreen at 9:42 AM on November 22, 2011

Also I don't know where you work, but most places I've worked with the holidays and all leaving mid-December isn't really going to mean much more then leaving at the end of December.

oops, just re-read your post - please ignore this part ....

posted by bitdamaged at 9:45 AM on November 22, 2011

Even if your supervisor is on leave (for Thanksgiving, I guess?), if you are able to get in touch with her, do so and explain. She might advise you to get your resignation into HR as soon as possible, or she might say that it's fine to wait until Monday.

If she's a reasonable person she will understand, and will also appreciate the fact that you let her know as soon as possible.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 10:10 AM on November 22, 2011

Most people where I work use their vacation time as counting in as part of their last days. Hell, my boss quit while he was on paternity leave and barely came in for a few hours during his official last 2 weeks to TCB. I think you can probably do that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:13 AM on November 22, 2011

I agree with others that you need to let your boss know as soon as you can, but I wanted to remind you of something that I've forgotten in the past: This is you telling her that your departure date has changed, not asking. Remembering that relieves a lot of anxiety for me.
posted by runningwithscissors at 12:09 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

Seconding Runningwithscissors.

In a previous job, I had given a month's notice for my departure. Just two weeks shy of leaving, I found out my best friend had unexpectedly died. I had to leave immediately to fly back east for the funeral. I called my boss and apologized, but I had to be out for a week while I helped out with my friend's family. There was no ifs, ands, or buts. I was leaving. I promised that I would work extra hours and on the weekend to make up for the time, but I was not taking no for an answer.

I've never regretted that decision. As stressful as it was for me and for my company, it was nowhere near as stressful as it was for my best friend's family, who had just lost a wife and a mother to three small children. My loyalty and priorities lay elsewhere for those few days.
posted by HeyAllie at 12:38 PM on November 22, 2011

It helps to remember that they'll shortly have to live without you anyway. Two weeks either way isn't going to change that.

As others have said just let them know that you'll be leaving earlier than expected due to a family emergency, and oh by the way here's my two week notice in writing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:35 PM on November 22, 2011

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