I work for a defense contractor and I have decided to quit. I put in my resignation but my boss strongly suggested I stay for the end of the contract which he said would be a month.

Since we are a small company and we've had some turnover over the past year, I am the only person at my company working this contract. I don't want to burn a bridge or cause harm to the company especially since they already have had a good bit of turnover, so I agreed to finish the contract.

It was later was presented to me that we had a good bit more funding left then the previously described month. I agreed to work 10 weeks, and over the past week have realized that I don't think the remaining work will take me 10 weeks to complete.

At this point I'm feeling a bit strung along because I feel like I agreed to stay additional time because I believed there was a dire need that I am skeptical of now. At the same time I know resources are limited and there are only a few candidates for people that could take over and I am not eager to throw this on their shoulders.

I really would like to move on with my life and don't want to be twiddling my thumbs for 10 weeks just to make things convenient for the employer without there being a serious need. Still, I feel guilty reopening the discussion since I did agree to the 10 weeks.

Am I being difficult and I should just suck it up and do my 10 weeks or is the company asking too much?

  • 1
    Questions you should answer: Your location? Do you have a time based contract with this company or is your employment completely "at will"? Do you care about future work with any of the companies involved? One thought is that if you can wrap up the project with weeks left of time then it might be beneficial to the company for you to finish early and leave for another job. – NotMe Nov 1 '17 at 15:47
  • If you dont want to work there, just put in notice and say no thank you when they ask you to stay on. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 1 '17 at 16:07

Am I being difficult and I should just suck it up and do my 10 weeks, or is the company asking too much?

In my opinion, you're the one being difficult. You're the one who made an agreement. Twice. You agreed to work a month and then 10 weeks and now you want to renege?

Ultimately, you can do what you want, but if you make 2 agreements and then change your mind, you're telling everyone who knows you that your word doesn't mean anything.

Additionally, you better hope potential employers don't call your current boss for a reference because when he tells this story, they'll drop you like a bad habit.

Be an adult and do what you said. You'll look better in the end, preserve a good reference and hopefully you'll feel better that you've done the right thing in spite of what you would rather have done.


As I read it, the company persuaded you to stay longer than you intended. First for one month, than for 10 weeks and you agreed every time because you felt they would have a big problem replacing you.

So it´s you who has been flexible and if you discover this flexibility my not be actually needed I find it reasonable to ask your employer to let you go when you have completed the remaining work. Just be prepared to honor your agreement if they say no.

For future occasions: Don´t go out of your way to accommodate your employers shortcomings too much. Be clear to communicate your decisions and generally try to stick to them.

There are a lot of arguments to be made here but basically you are currently taking responsibility (plan for replacements etc.) that you boss should take, and without the rewards.


If your position eliminated (downsized, laid off, project cancellation, etc) would you ask the employer to keep you on for another month? I suspect that you wouldn't be afforded the courtesy of advanced notice whatsoever.

I've been asked to stay beyond contract period, and I've been blindsided by restructuring. Once I was asked to stay for 90 days, and then sent packing abruptly after a month. The only outcome I dont regret is giving one week notice and sticking to it. Happy to be out of the gig economy, doing 40 hours plus optional OT is my piece of mind these days.


It's not unreasonable to renegotiate based on updated information. The estimate was for an additional 10 weeks, but based on what you are seeing, it isn't going to take you that long. These things happen. You should be able to go back to them and explain that you don't think that this will take you that long to complete, and that there's no reason why they should pay you if you don't have anything to actively work on. Make sure they understand that you will, of course, stay to make sure that the project is finished and that the customer is satisfied with it. If for some reason they have an issue with this, you can bring up the fact that you've already accommodated them twice by agreeing to stay on longer than you originally intended, and that the second agreement was based on information that is no longer accurate.

The only issue I can see is if they are concerned that they would be losing money from their contract if you leave early. If that's the case, that would be a bit shady to me if they would be willing to essentially lie to their client by claiming to be actively doing work when the reality is that it's already complete. However, if there is a legitimate reason for doing this, you could see if you can work with them in a limited capacity during that period that would allow you to pursue other employment while still letting them meet their contractual obligations.

At the very least, it doesn't hurt to ask. The worst they can do is say that yes they will need you to stay.

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