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It was the 7th of September when I decided to quit and told my boss. The company was a good place to work in and so we have decided to part on friendly terms. The contract we have has a clause for 1 month lease time, which we both agree on — as a developer, I would want to tie any loose ends before I leave.

However, my contract starts at the beginning of the month and my boss told me that it would be better to extend the lease time so my employment ends at the end of October — in over 1.5 months. The reason for this, as he put it, is that my future employers and particularly HR departments would consider it a very bad sign that the contract ended in the middle of a month, implying that we have parted on very bad terms.

I understand that the company would benefit from me staying a little longer, and would agree the general case, however:

  1. I believe one month is fair and enough to finish what is left of my work and enough to find a replacement. The company is currently not in a state of crisis.
  2. Due to visa and residence issues, I will need to take action after leaving a job as soon as possible and longer delay would increase the risks for me and my family.

So, I don't want to stay longer than the legal lease period. But is my (soon to be former) boss correct? Will quitting in the middle of a month be a stain on my résumé in the future?

We are located in Spain, if that makes a difference.

  • 2
    I answered based on the assumption that you have contract that is renewed monthly, but I just realised that may not be what you meant by "my contract starts from the beginning of the month". Could you clarify if that is indeed the case or if you are instead just a regular employee who originally started (months/years ago) on the first day of the month? – Lilienthal Sep 8 '15 at 13:41
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    Professionals quit when it serves their interests best to quit. Amateurs quit when it serves their employers interests best. :) – DA. Sep 8 '15 at 14:56
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    No one asks for your start DAY and end DAY. You just state, you started in Smarch and left in December. ;) – insidesin Sep 8 '15 at 15:13
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    @Joe Strazzere: Unfortunately, I don't know the situation in Spain either, but in Germany it would indeed be a red flag to prospective employers. That's because a regular resignation can usually only become valid on a 15th or on the last day of a month; if someone's last day was, say, an 8th, it would be suspected they got fired without a notice period (indicating very serious misbehaviour, e.g. theft). But as I said, that's Germany. – chirlu Sep 8 '15 at 21:48
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    I wouldn't recommend to leave before you have a new job lined up. – Alexander Sep 9 '15 at 6:01
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It is not unprofessional at all. No one else is going to care when you quit. He is playing you. But it is your contractual obligation to give a month's notice and as long as you kept that, then no other employer is going to see it as odd. And honestly, my resume only has the year and month info on it, how would they even know the exact date you left?

It could however cost you the new job if you lengthen the notice, so do not agree to this without consulting your new employer.

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    Agreed. I hate when employers try to play people like this. – WorkerWithoutACause Sep 8 '15 at 13:52
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    @user1108 Thank goodness for StackExchange where they can be outed, then. ;) – jpmc26 Sep 9 '15 at 4:21
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    There is a difference between having 1 months notice and being contracted by the month (ie for units of whole months). If he is leaving mid contract that would look bad. Not sure if that confusion is in the question or the situation but it needs clarifying before you can state that he has no obligation. CVs dont include start/end dates but you do have references. – JamesRyan Sep 9 '15 at 9:50
  • @JamesRyan From the OP: "My boss told me that it would be better to extend the lease time so my employment ends at the end of October." I read this as, "My boss is requesting something from me that requires an extension that I will have to agree to." If the OP's boss wanted the OP to stay longer and had contractual clauses that require it, why would anything need to be extended? True that I'm inferring a bit and that it's not stated explicitly, but it seems clear enough to me. – jpmc26 Sep 10 '15 at 0:29
  • @jpmc26 possibly, but the fact that he is calling it lease time hints to me that something could have been lost in translation. Better to clarify the situation than to rely on assumptions that may be incorrect. – JamesRyan Sep 10 '15 at 9:09
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No future employer will know that your particular contract started on the first day of the month, and if they do they won't care. There's no reason whatsoever to assume that you and your former employer ended on bad terms based on the timing of your final day. Many resumes even omit specifying the day in the work history as it offers no value.

If you don't have another job lined up to start shortly after you've resigned your current position, it is very likely that they will ask why you left without having a new job, as that is a potential red flag for an involuntary end to your contract and they could suspect that you were fired or let go. However, at that point you simply give whatever reason you had for leaving (as long as it's a good one) and that will be the end of it.

So to summarise, no, the reason your manager gave is not a valid one for prolonging your notice period. If your next company requires you to start by a certain day or if you have personal reasons for not extending your notice period, even if it's just to take a much-needed vacation between jobs, then just hold firm: "I'm sorry, I'm commited to ensuring a smooth transition but I need my final day to be on the Xth."

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    +1 for "No future employer will know ...[or]... care". I've (UK) always simply given month-month dates on my CV/resume for simplicity (e.g. "Aug 2012 to Mar 2015"), and no-one has ever once showed the slightest interest in what day of the month those dates were. – user568458 Sep 8 '15 at 16:54
  • Exactly. How would anyone even know the details of your previous contract? Seems that OP is over-thinking this one. – Preston Sep 9 '15 at 17:52
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As an Spanish national the answer is no. Nobody cares about the start or ending date of the contract. HR will look for gaps in your career, but big month gaps, not a few weeks gap.

Anyway you will see that a huge porcentage of the contract ending dates are focused on the last day of the month. The reason is that in Spain we have monthly salary payments and usually all the paperwork is done in these days.

Another important thing, you have holidays (21-23 days per year) so if you have remaining days you have to make sure that they are included in the last salary (the spanish term is "finiquito")

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As someone who does hiring, I can say that for myself, I usually look only at the start and end dates relative to each other, and never on their own.

I would not care if your employment stopped on the 15th of August. I would care if your employment stopped on the 15th of August and didn't have a "new job" until the 1st of June the following year. Even in that case, it's more about the number of months than any actual day you quit on. To make matters even less important, it would only result in a question during the interview, i.e., "Why were you out of employment so long?"

The point is it's not about when you leave, it's that in your leaving you flowed to a new job in a reasonable amount of time to reduce any skills "rust" and to show that you planned ahead for the transition and didn't just "go off the deep end". The manner in which you leave (with or without notice, how much notice, and did you leave the company in a lurch) would be addressed when calling your references.

It's not important at all what day you leave on. Nine times out of ten I wouldn't even know. Usually (around here anyway) people schedule their notice to coincide with payroll, to reduce the hassle of "the last pay check". This results in all kinds of "end dates".

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Disclaimer: this is a perspective from a different EU country

Check what your contract really says - in some countries, for example in the Czech Republic there is a law that when you resign (I suppose you and your boss came to a mutual agreement to end the contract and thus it's not an official "resignation"), the period of lease time begins on the first day of next month. So usually what happens is that people resign on the 29th/30th and take all the remaining days of their vacation off counting from the end of the lease period (so they go to work only for couple weeks usually). Is that unprofessional? I don't know, but it happens very often. I don't think it's unprofessional from your side what you're describing.

I just wanted to share this with you and for anyone interested in the future.

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But is my (soon to be former) boss correct? Will quitting in the middle of a month be a stain on my resumé in the future?

Potentially yes. But realistically it is only going to potentially matter to your next few employers. If you build a history of solid employment even if they notice a blip here it is unlikely to create any issues. After all most people have been fired at some point in their career. It is a learning opportunity and most employers are more concerned with recent history than your early career.

What is a bigger concern for employers could be that you quit with out having a new job to go to. This is seen by many(appropriately or not) as irresponsible. I personally would take the extra time to find a new position. If you find one quickly great you can start at first of that month. If not then you have a jump on finding that next position and an extra few weeks of pay in your bank.

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