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I received an awesome industry job offer in Dec 2018 (after several rounds of interviews over three months). I gave my manager a starting date of May 2019, since I was planning to schedule my final defense in March 2019. I recently came to know that my PhD defense is delayed since the committee cannot meet until June 2019 (one of the professor is out on a medical leave). How do I approach my potential manager about negotiating a start date ? The offer is contingent upon finishing my PhD. So I cannot start until July.

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    Show them xkcd.com/1403 and say you're busy preparing your thesis defense – adamcooney Jan 30 at 11:24
  • My God, a SIX MONTH start date - what industry is this dude? – Fattie Jan 30 at 14:32
  • It sounds like you're in a bit of a rarefied field. I'm guessing that most of us here don't work at jobs where the interview process is 3 months long and is delayed by PhD thesis defenses, so I'm assuming your prospective employer will be completely understanding of this. The key is to have a conversation with them about it. – joeqwerty Jan 31 at 4:10
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How do I approach my potential manager about negotiating a start date ? The offer is contingent upon finishing my PhD. So I cannot start until July.

You talk.

You explain to your potential manager your predicament. You tell them what happened, and what you'd like to do.

Most likely they will just push back your start date. Perhaps they will let you start working and give you time off to prepare for your PhD completion.

If they cannot hold your job for some reason, at least you'll know about it now and can start a job search.

  • This, and in all the cases like this I ever heard of, they´d just take you on board as planned and give you the free time you need to complete PhD on the side. After all, sounds like the already spend much more on requiting, so loosing you is not an option. – Daniel Jan 30 at 11:39
  • A friend had this issue, started the job and his supervisor ended up "Begging" him to come and do the defense... An incomplete PhD defense was worse for them than for him - his employer was not worried about the title - he HAD the skills working... – Solar Mike Jan 30 at 13:11
  • @JoeStrazzere them being his supervisor... – Solar Mike Jan 30 at 15:22
  • @JoeStrazzere There might be some reason why the employer would want a Ph.D., for advertising or certification or something like that. I can't be more specific without more details. – David Thornley Jan 30 at 18:07
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People have their circumstances change that push start dates all the time. Asking for the start date to be postponed a month or two should be no big deal. I would simply reach out and tell them.

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