I have been going through a transition period. I was looking after an elderly family member while working part time. He has now gone into a care home and I no longer receive anything for his care.

I have looked into my situation with great care because I love my current employer and wish to progress with them. However, I have come to the conclusion I will have to leave and have already started applying elsewhere. This is because:

  • Opportunities for progression or full time work are limited with my current employer
  • My salary does not come close to covering outgoings despite cutting back and
  • I do not qualify for benefits to allow me to stick around and wait for an opportunity.

I work in a very small team so if I get called for any sort of interview, it is highly likely I will need to request time off for it. This is also the first time I am applying for a job while already in employment.


  1. How do explain to my boss I need time off for interviews?
  2. How do I explain why I am leaving to them and my prospective employer?
  • 1
    If you are only working part time, is it not possible to schedule (most) interviews for times you aren't working?
    – Grant
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 22:41
  • Normally yes but at present, I have been lucky to get some overtime by covering at another branch but the branch managers are still working out my schedule. If I am not in one store, I'll be likely in the other.
    – Chris
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 22:59
  • 2
    Have you asked for a full-time position?
    – user8365
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 8:18
  • Under my job title, there are no full time positions. They like part time flexible staff. I'm on the highest contract they will provide.
    – Chris
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


You don't need to tell him that the reason you're taking time off is for interviews.

Just tell them that you have an appointment you need to keep.

Don't tell him that you're planning on leaving until you've accepted a job offer and are handing in your notice. Telling your boss that you're planning on leaving before that can cause issues for you, such as being marginalised, or replaced.

Regarding how to explain to your prospective employer why you're wanting to leave, the reasons you've listed are pretty sufficient. Think about it from the employers point of view - can they satisfy these shortcomings, and are they going to get good value from you?

  • 2
    Agreed - time off is time off: you don't have to tell them why, and if they ask - tell them "it's a private matter" and leave it at that.
    – HorusKol
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 23:30
  • And note that if they say "OK, but it's going to come out of your vacation time" or "you'll have to make up the hours later"... well, (A) that's generally a manager's prerogative, and (2) it really is ethically questionable to use paid time for tasks which are not just personal but arguably against the company's interests.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 21:44

Alternate view: I always found that "open & transparent" seems to be the best policy. I think it's perfectly okay to talk to your boss and tell them something like: "Due to some changes in my personal life I need a full time job now. I really do like it here and would love to build out my career with you. What can I do to make this happen? What expectations would I have to meet? If for some reason we can't do this, than I need to be looking for alternatives. Although that's not my preferred option, I really don't have much of a choice here. If anything develops I will let you know so we can discuss again".

I coached one of my sons through a similar situation. He got hired as a temp at a start-up with the potential of getting converted to a permanent position sometime in the future. In the first week he gave his boss the speech as outlined above. His boss wasn't super happy at first, but it was a reasonable ask and he appreciated the openness. The final outcome was great: about a month later my son got a really nice offer from a different startup. He talked it through with his first boss who decided that the timing wasn't great to keep him there. So they parted as friends with a nice good bye party and the intent to stay in contact for potential future opportunities. By being open upfront, my son managed to set realistic expectation and paved the way for an amicable departure.

  • 1
    While I agree you should be open, telling your employeer you will be leaving, and then asking for paid time off is a little insulting. Your leave is your leave, you can use it how you want it, but the employeer also has the right to be respected.
    – Donald
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 13:35

How do explain to my boss I need time off for interviews?

You don't. You simply say that you need to take the time off. If they ask, you simply say that you have personal business to attend to. You are not actually lying since going for an interview falls under the classification of taking care of personal business. Just don't volunteer any info to the effect that you are going for interviews, and you don't volunteer that info no matter how hard they push you. It's none of their business.

How do I explain why I am leaving to them and my prospective employer?

You say that you are looking for a position with a career path, and you'd very much like said position to give you a stable, predictable income stream and sick days when you need them.

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