I've recently negotiated and accepted a contract with a new company. My starting date is set to few months away. After signing, I notified my current company of my intent to leave (this seemed like the prudent way to transition jobs). However, my current employer was quite shocked by the announcement, and have informed me that they will be in a very difficult position should I leave. They have requested that I stay a bit longer so that they can have time to find a replacement.
- I have given my employer an advanced notice of 6 weeks. The contractual agreement is a minimum of 4 weeks advanced notice.
- I can recognise how they will have legitimate difficulties should I leave, since I perform a specific task that no other employee is available to perform.
- My current employer has agreed to compensate me at the same level as my new employer for any extra time that I agree to spend.
- My current employer would like me to ideally stay two months longer.
- I am leaving my position a bit earlier than the length of my contract (although either party may exit with an agreed amount of advanced notice (see 1))
I am happy to help my current employer out, and work for them for a month or two extra. However, I don't know how to phrase this intention/request to my prospective new employer having already signed on. The advice I have received from friends is to be honest about the situation and simply explain the circumstances along with the desire to defer my starting date. Is this the best way to go about it? Am I asking for too much time (should I ask for one month?) Should I try to approach the problem by negotiating a time or is frankness the best way to go about it (and I take what comes)?