How to gracefully quit a job you just started - grad student edition
January 12, 2018 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm a new grad student and I was fortunately able to just not work during my first semester of classes while I adjusted to being back in school. However, I do need some cheddar so I applied for a part-time job on campus as a writing tutor in a health sciences department. I got the job and I really, really like it after my first week! But, I was also just approached by a professor about a better paying research assistant position...

I just started my first week in my part-time on-campus gig as a writing tutor. I really like it and I really like the staff that run the program. If this other opportunity hadn't fallen into my lap, I could see myself working this gig for the rest of my grad school program.

The research assistant position isn't 100% a done deal yet (still waiting on the final paperwork to go through), but this job would be working in my field on a super cool project with a really awesome professor for more money.

Assuming I get the other job and my start date is next month is there a gracious way I can quit the writing tutor job? I feel really bad, because I just got trained and the semester has already started which means they'll be short-staffed for a bit after I leave. But, there's just no way I can do both.

Looking for any suggestions for how to graciously quit the other job in a way that will minimize inconvenience for them.
posted by forkisbetter to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're probably overthinking this. The campus employment ecosystem is structured for transience. Let them know as soon as you're sure, it almost goes without saying that a job in your department is a bigger deal than a tutor job, and be helpful in handing off your existing appointments.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:57 AM on January 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Your leaving will cause inconvenience. They will be annoyed (because quitting so soon after starting is annoying). And then they will hire someone else, as they have done many, many times when grad students take better offers. The most gracious way to do this is to not expect them to make you feel better for quitting.
posted by Pineapplicious at 10:14 AM on January 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

As someone who hires student employees, don't worry. If someone quits like that I'll be slightly annoyed, but I won't tell them that. I understand if there is a better opportunity they have to take it. We don't consider student employee's as critical employees, as their priority studies.
posted by WizKid at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Are you going to continue to be a grad student (with your current PI)?

A lot of research assistant positions are grant dependent - and grants end and even top flight researchers can run into dry spells.

In regards to the tutoring position, they'll totally understand you leaving for a full time (?) RA position.
posted by porpoise at 2:22 PM on January 12, 2018

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