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I recently accepted a job offer, and I'm currently waiting for contract and all the paperwork (conditional offer upon clearance of background checks etc.).

By all means, I will give my notice period, which is 1 month, to my current employer once all background check results come back. This takes up to 6 weeks I've been told. So the results should come back around mid-August.

However, I am on holidays from 10th to 26th of August, which means I could only give my notice period before or after my holiday. My concern is I'm entitled to a big (well deserved!) bonus with my current employer to be paid on 18th September (employees are not entitled to bonus if notice is given before 18th September).

Ideally, I'd rather wish to give my notice on 18th September and start my new job mid October, but this is too far away and I'm sure they would not be very happy about it as they want me to start ASAP.

Could I negotiate the starting date with my new employer at all? And if so, how (come up with any ideas - excuses)? Your opinion would be much appreciated.

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    Did you have any discussions with the recruiter as to when are/how soon is the company expecting you to join? – Nimesh Neema Jun 23 at 15:44
  • Yes they said asap – anonymous Jun 23 at 20:26
  • It seems that doesn't leave you much leverage. I think that leaves you with option to inform them about your holiday and plan a joining date accordingly (based on when you can get relieved). You'll have to decide if the it's worth forgoing your bonus and future prospects in the current job when compared with the new job and future prospects there. – Nimesh Neema Jun 23 at 20:32
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    Just tell them the truth. This isn't a new problem. This kind of thing happens all the time. They will either compensate you to make up for the lost bonus (if they really need you), or they'll wait a little bit longer. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 23 at 21:46
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    @berry120, Done. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 24 at 8:28
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Get in touch with your recruiter and get clarity as to when or how soon are you expected to join the job? And how far can the joining date be pushed if you are thinking about taking a break between jobs? You can (should) ask this question without mentioning anything about your current situation/dilemma or any plans whatsoever. Asking over an email is best. This question can be casually asked without revealing any details and ideally the recruiter won't ask any further questions.

Based on the estimated time required for paperwork, you'll likely get a clearance around mid-August. There's a likelihood that this will happen while you are on your planned holiday. The new company would expect you to join around mid September based on assumption that you'll need to serve a notice period of 1 month with your employer (plus a few extra days, if required for any movements/relocations).

Based on the response from the recruiter (from the first point), ask them if you can get an extension in joining date? If yes, how long the extension could go? If asked for a reason, you can state that there's a previously planned leave in the current job, and you can put in notice only after returning back from the leave.

Based on the interaction from the recruiter, you'll be able to determine if you can push the resignation date ahead till 18th September, so that you can claim the bonus. If not this lengthy, at least you'll buy some time, so you can still resign post-holiday on 27th August.

If the permissible joining date extension couldn't work out such that you can claim for bonus, you may have a make a call as to what is more important out of two, new job offer or the bonus.

If in the rare case, the recruiting company doesn't consent to extending joining date, you can take an appropriate call, plan ahead and resign before 10th August.

In case you are granted a brief extension, such as a couple weeks, make sure to inform your recruiter about your holiday and that you may not be in a position to reply to emails (regarding paperwork completion, if they happen to arrive during your leave), and request to complete any necessary formalities before 10th August or after 27th August.

  • Hi Nimesh there is not recruiter in the middle. The application made directly through the company so I'm speaking with internal HR person who is communicating with the hiring manager. I am thinking saying that I have planned holidays 6 weeks due to my sister's wedding from 10/8 till 17/9 so I could give my notice period 18/9 which is the payment date of the bonus. This could work though only with the assumption that background check results will come back after 10/8. – anonymous Jun 23 at 16:39
  • @anonymous By recruiter I mean the person handing your offer. Here the internal HR is the recruiter and you should be communicating with them. The gist of the answer is that entire communication can be done in form of general enquiry without raising any suspicion regarding your plans. You can plan things based on how the communication goes. – Nimesh Neema Jun 23 at 16:40
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    Why would it be necessary to disguise the real reason the OP wants to stay with their current employer until the date they receive the bonus? The OP would lose a large sum of money if they leave earlier, so this is a valid concern. I'd suggest mentioning this to the recruiter: if it's critical for the new employer to onboard the OP ASAP they might as well offer a signing bonus to cover the loss. – Egor Jun 23 at 17:53
  • @Egor Well said! – Nimesh Neema Jun 23 at 18:02
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Just tell them the truth. This isn't a new problem. This kind of thing happens all the time.

They will either compensate you to make up for the lost bonus (if they really need you), or they'll wait a little bit longer.

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