My university offers a work-study program where full-time students can work jobs within the university which require around 12-15 hours weekly.

The semesters are Fall (Sept - Dec), Winter (Jan - April) and Summer (May - August). The work-study program for Fall/Winter is till Feb 23rd as it says on the website and on my contract.

I got really busy during Mid January to Feb 23rd so I didn't put in any shifts. My supervisor emailed me near Feb 23rd saying I should be picking up shifts. I apologized and picked up a shift and then it was Feb 23rd. I figured my work study was over (My course load is very high this semester and through the summer so I purposely looked for a job which ends this semester). I got an email on March 21st from supervisor saying that I need to pick up more shifts and that I went missing again. I'm loaded with school assignments and got too busy to reply and I thought my work study was over.

I then got another email yesterday from another coworker asking if I can work this week and that I should be picking up as many shifts possible to make it easy for the rest of the workers and supervisors too.

How do I tell them that I want to end my contract and no longer want to work without looking incompetent and burning bridges?

I understand my employers point of view now (it's hard for them to train students to simply work part time just for a couple months, and all the other students who were employed with me are still working).

Overall through fall and winter I didn't work many hours at all so I can see why the employer would be upset.

  • 1
    did you get paid during the busy mid January to Feb 23rd period where you weren't able to work any shifts? Apr 12, 2018 at 23:18
  • @RAZ_Muh_Taz Nope, I only get paid for the hours I work. We submit in timesheets biweekly where we write down how many hours we worked for those two weeks. And every week an excel file is shared between the students and we write down what times we are free to come in. I just didnt put down times during mid Jan to Feb 23rd and didnt put down any hours in my timesheet for that time. Apr 13, 2018 at 4:06
  • 1
    So you signed up for this program for an open ended period of time? And now your getting emails because you didnt formally end it or they assumed you were okay with an Extension? Apr 13, 2018 at 9:22
  • You said your work contract ended. What determined that? Was a date written somewhere or is it ending because you want it to? What does the actually contract say about how the contract ends?
    – Nelson
    Apr 13, 2018 at 11:59
  • Employers aren't going to have your end date memorized from having read the contract once, months ago. Especially if you were never around for the last six weeks of the contracted period for them to ask or for you to tell them it was ending.
    – Steve-O
    Apr 13, 2018 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


I think you should telephone or email your former supervisor a version of what you've put into your post.

For example:

Dear [Supervisor]

Unfortunately I cannot work any shifts for the foreseeable future. This is because of study demands and cessation of duties on 29-February in line with with my contract and the University website.

Best regards,


If you are interested in future work, then I would include a paragraph stating so and what date you'll be available.

  • 1
    In all honesty, I'd leave out the bit about future work with this company. People at this company are apparently still under the impression he's working for them, over a month after his contract ended, and he's had a history of being hard to find even before that. Saying he's interested in working with them again is just adding insult to injury at this point. Just focus on making sure they know what's what and then move on.
    – Steve-O
    Apr 13, 2018 at 13:39
  • @Steve-O: That's why I said if. The OP may want to go back for the next out-of-term job.
    – user27483
    Apr 13, 2018 at 13:44
  • 1
    Sure he may want to go back, but I seriously doubt they would be willing to have him again. Regardless of how noble his intentions may have been, he was never around. The OP said he didn't want to burn bridges, but the bridge is already burning. Trying to prop it up for possible future use at this point is only going to make things worse.
    – Steve-O
    Apr 13, 2018 at 13:50

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