So I graduate and finish my exams on April 25th. Then, I start my new job on May 5th. But I was thinking about postponing my start date a week, just to have a longer break and start the job fresh. When I interviewed, I said I wanted the start date to be around mid May, and the manager said she was okay with it. But for some dumb reason, I misread the start date on the contract, so I didn't ask to change the start date to mid May like I requested. I signed the contract a few weeks ago.

Would it be appropriate to ask to postpone the start date? It's not the biggest deal, and I wouldn't be very pushy about it as I understand I signed the contract already. It'd just be nice. If you think it's ok, how would you word it?

I was thinking something like:

Hi, I understand I signed the contract already, but I was wondering if it would be possible postpone the start date to XXX. I'd like some extra time off after my exams, so I can make sure I come in fresh for the new job. But, this is just a personal preference, so it's completely fine and understandable if this not doable or too much of an inconvenience. Thanks.

  • 2
    I'd say, ask away because if you want it, that's the only way you'll get it - by asking. But make it clear that you can take "no" for an answer. – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 22 '15 at 11:08
  • In my experience, whenever someone has pushed their start date forward it usually resulted in them never actually showing up for the job. Meaning they agreed to take it but continued to interview until they found something else. Because of that I'd be hesitant to ever allow that again. – NotMe Apr 22 '15 at 15:56
  • This is really tricky. I myself got my very first job and requested for postponing the start if possible. I hope companies are open to such queries. At the max they should say "no, we want you sooner" rather than revoking the offer. I am not forcing, its just a preference. Good Luck! – learner Apr 22 '15 at 20:29
  • It also depends on the country you are in. In US for example nobody cares. In countries like Germany people value your personal life and preferences and are more accommodating. – learner Apr 22 '15 at 20:31

Short answer: Start on your contracted date.

I think being so close to your start date now, asking to postpone would not be appropriate. If I, as a manager, had started to work out my forward resource planning based on that date, I'd likely not be overly impressed at changing at this late stage.

It would also require redrawing your employment contract, and other various administrative tasks. Just start on your contracted date and take some planned leave in a few months time, worked out with your manager, when you have accrued a week.

  • 5
    +1. First impressions are important. Don't be introduced to the office as "This is John321, who was supposed to start ten days ago but rescheduled." Don't even take the chance of being perceived as a "difficult employee" before you even start. (And read what you sign carefully next time ;-) – S. Kolassa - Reinstate Monica Apr 22 '15 at 11:18
  • 3
    +1 Because your manager has already included you in her/his plans. It does not matter that it was fine with HR before to start later, now you have contracted and someone counts on you to do work. – Mark Apr 22 '15 at 11:25
  • @Jane Could you please offer some advice on my question?. I did not sign any contract yet, as soon as I got the contract I put in my request to postpone. And I told them I am fine if its not possible. – learner Apr 22 '15 at 20:24

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