So I just received an offer for a job and during the phone call I was asked when I could start. The company has start dates for new employees every 2 weeks. I said I should be able to start in two weeks on the next start date.

I thought that I would be able to find an apartment and move in that time, the job is 5 hours away from where I am now, but with further thought and discussing it with my parents we believe that two weeks might be cutting it close.

It's hard with my parents schedule to go out find apartments and move. During the phone call they did say that If I had trouble finding a place they could push the start date back.

I'm worried that I won't be able to start the later date since I had already signed the offer form and sent it back. The form stated that my first day was on the mutually agreed date of "such and such".

Do you think I'd be able to start later if I had already signed the offer?

  • 1
    I know two weeks seems completely doable to find an apartment. It's just that this is my first job out of college and it would be my first apartment so I kind of need one of my parents with me when I visit apartments and such, especially since they will probable have to cosign, but both my parents can't even come to look with me until a week before the start date due to other obligations and work. That's why I need it pushed back. all I really need is an extra week but the recruiter stated start days are in 2 week intervals.
    – Colin
    Sep 29, 2018 at 4:05
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    @Kilisi of course parents do what they can to support their child but from their perspective it could be quite hard to react properly. Probably they are not located in the OP's new town. Dropping everything else and starting to run suddenly "right now" is not so easy, that's a challenging expectation.
    – puck
    Sep 29, 2018 at 9:24
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    There are always things like temporary housing and hotels (which the company may even be willing to cover). Sep 29, 2018 at 10:19

3 Answers 3


You can push the start date back citing unavoidable personal circumstances. It's obviously not a high level critical job.

But also because it's not, it's best not to start with a personal drama. When you start working you really need to structure your life around it in some ways, and the less your personal life interferes with your work the better.

So if it was me, I'd just make it happen without making it my employers problem at all. If that meant spending a few days in a hostel, I'd do that.

  • 2
    I asked my manager if I could push the date back, but stated if there was an issue in doing so that I would do my best to make the original date work.
    – Colin
    Sep 29, 2018 at 5:45
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    Good luck with your new job
    – Kilisi
    Sep 29, 2018 at 5:48

I would take a look at the rental market in the area before asking for a later start date. Call a few likely apartment complexes and ask what their availability is and how long it would take for you to get a set of keys (assuming the process moves flawlessly). I know in my area it would take close to a month to secure an apartment, but I also know that in a city an hours drive away, it would take less than a week.

A few phone calls will let you know the market situation in your area fairly quickly, and if 2 weeks is not reasonable, you can always shoot an email to your future employer stating

I was unable to secure housing by (start date) and am now asking for a later start date.

Or equivalent. It's better to know and act now rather than wait until the night before your first day and either end up driving 5 hours for work, or spending money on a hotel while you get the rental situated.

Oh, and congratulations on the new job!


I don't want to be blaming you here, but I don't understand why you aren't looking for an apartment without your parents. You aren't the first one in the situation where your family has no time to see apartments with you, and I've had to deal with that situation myself.

Start looking for apartments right now, and take a train or a car (if you have one, from what you've been saying it would seem you don't even have a driving licence to be honest) to get there on one specific day, like in 2-4 days time. Book all appointments to see the apartments/ bedrooms (it may be easier to search for shared as well) for that one day, spacing them out so you have time to get there. Record all of them and then show your parents, since sometimes agencies and landlords will try to take advantage of you. Check for mould, broken appliances, sufficient heating, and whether there is sufficient number of mains.

If you don't find a place you like on that day, write to them that you've been unable to find a place to live so far, and would like an extension of 1-2 weeks. In the end, they did say that if you're unable to find a place they are willing to delay it. But I strongly suggest you start taking this seriously.

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