This is my first time posting here, so my apologies if my question doesn't completely follow the guidelines.

For some background I am based in the UK and have been working in my first "career" job. I work for a small company where there isn't really a HR department and I directly report to 2 managers. I am not on a written contract (it was a mistake not to sort out before, I know). As this is my first career job I am still very new to the professional workplace. At the moment I have tried working from home one day but I am struggling a lot with concentrating on work with my current situation.

Within the last few weeks I have been applying for new jobs and been going to interviews with prospective employers. Recently an immediate family member passed away and I have been on bereavement leave from work. I have also just got a reply from the company I was interested for when I was interviewing and they have offered me a position which is much more local to me and offered more pay than I had asked for during the interview process.

Without getting into to many details have also had other news (bereavement related) meaning I am planning to leave the country soon for a week to be with family.

The problem I am having is how to handle my current employer, because over the next week I have bereavement things to take care of with my immediate family which will require me to not work for another 2 days.

What I am unsure about is how to leave my current employer. Although personally, my family business always takes priority, I feel bad to leave my current employer without a developer without notice as we are a small development team and I guess that my actions would be seen as unprofessional.

What is the most appropriate way to leave/discuss with my current employer based on my situation?

Should I tell my potential new employer about my current situation? (I think if I leave soon I would burn bridges with my current employer and this is my first career job and only reference)


Thank you for the advice. I spoke to my Manager a day after the advice and explained my situation and that I would be leaving (along with my written notice). To make everything as easy as possible for the transition I offered to write documents for the hand over during some agreed hours at work and some at home on the weekend. I also done some development on the weekend to wrap up my last main project. My manager and main boss of the company has been very understanding and helpful during this time.

I also mentioned my situation to the new employer before I sent them back the signed contract, they was also very understanding and said I could have some personal time of.


1 Answer 1


Condolences on your loss.

In every permanent dev or tech position I've had over the last 10+ years in the UK, I've had to serve a minimum of one month's notice. As such, I'd be surprised if your new employer expects you to serve less, and you may have some time to wrap things up with your old employer.

If you think you're up to it, consider the following options to avoid burning your bridges and leaving gracefully:

  • As soon as you reasonably can, try to let your current/old employer know you're leaving, even if it is just for a 30 minute meeting to hand in your notice. The more time they have to prepare / recruit someone else, the better.
  • Offer to help wrap up what you were working on, and/or document things well once you are back from abroad, in the final week or two of your notice period.
  • Maybe offer to accept the occasional email or phone call after you've left, given that you may not be able to leave with a normal working notice period in the manner you'd hoped.

If you're expecting to be distracted and possibly need to take leave due to further bereavement-related family emergencies, your new employer will probably want to know too. As long as they're a reasonable and thoughtful employer, a small amount of personal time won't be too bad, but it's likely they'll find it easier to cope with if they know beforehand. Erratic behaviour is more excusable if there is a decent reason.

  • 2
    I agree with this. I'd also like to point out that since the company has not made a contract to @f0xx then it probably means that they wish to be able to cut him off whenever it suits them, likewise he can do the same to them with no guilt, but avoid burning bridges is of course what should be done on the way out.
    – Jonast92
    Oct 14, 2014 at 17:56

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