I have just been accepted in a new company however, I have a pre-planned trip 1 week after my official start date. This has been planned months earlier and everything has been booked.

How do I tell them (new company) that I need to go on this trip without giving a bad impression? I am thinking of 2 options:

  1. Tell them about the trip and that I can start with my new position after this trip (means, I am able to start only 2 weeks after the start date that they've set).

  2. Tell them about the trip and that I can start on the start date but I would need to go on a trip 1 week after. I'm willing to be unpaid during that 1 week duration since I just started.

Do you think these two options are fair enough? And generally, will it give them a bad impression?

  • 8
    Is there some reason you didn't mention this pre planned trip prior to getting the job?
    – Kilisi
    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:23
  • 4
    I only met with them once, during the interview, and I didn't see the reason to tell them about it when they haven't offered me a job yet. Apr 24, 2016 at 8:25
  • 3
    @JoeStrazzere: I think the opposite: unless asked specifically about start dates, bringing it up during an interview leaves the equally-bad impression that the candidate thinks he's going to be hired. The time for it is between offer and acceptance, and I think most companies would be willing to work with either of the OP's options.
    – Blrfl
    Apr 24, 2016 at 12:40
  • You accepted a job after one interview? Did you even negotiate salary?
    – Lilienthal
    Apr 24, 2016 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Lilienthal: The questioner is from Singapore, and you may be misinterpreting "been accepted" as meaning "accepted an offer."
    – Blrfl
    Apr 24, 2016 at 13:10

3 Answers 3


At this point it's just a job offer you can still negotiate starting day, you haven't actually accepted the offer. That's understandable and does happen, although they might not like it.

You need to let them know as soon as possible that you're excited to have the offer, but taking the job is contingent on you being able to fulfill preplanned obligations. Then give them your two options. Personally I would just say I can't start for 2 weeks.

  • 2
    +1. Only case where I think this would be bad is if they asked about availability and the OP neglected to mention it until they got the job offer.
    – user41761
    Apr 24, 2016 at 9:14
  • I think its a good test how flexible they are also. If you you did not agree the starting date yet, I guess its not a big problem. If that is a huge problem for them, then maybe the company is not as flexible and might be problems in the future, or you did not market yourself as high as others and they have plenty of other workers to choose from and so the might not accept this. Apr 24, 2016 at 12:27
  • I would say the phrase "they might not like it" is not even valid. What's there for them to like? "I can start at this time." They don't have a say to when I start. I'm not on their payroll yet! They can try to negotiate an earlier start, but that's about it.
    – Nelson
    Apr 25, 2016 at 3:23
  • @Nelson Of course it's valid, depending on the position and the situation. If someone said they could start two weeks after the date I offered for some positions, I'd withdraw the offer, I can find someone else in less time than that unless it's a specialist position. I couldn't care less about their preplanned whatever. So the employer DOES have a say when they start, they might NOT start at all. That's at the end of the spectrum, but it's valid.
    – Kilisi
    Apr 25, 2016 at 3:43

Based on where you are in the hiring process I would tell them right away. I would call them on the phone and follow up with an email so that they know the exact dates you will be unavailable. You might have to talk to your new manager, and the hiring manager, and to HR.

Normally I discuss this type of situation during the interview. I will let them know about things that could cause me to be unavailable during the next few months. I don't mention a dentist appointment, but If I had a wedding to attend that would make be unavailable to travel or attend all-day training I would let them know.

As to which option they would accept. It is up to them. Some would delay the start date, others would let you work that first week then go on leave. It would depend on what the job was, and what their current staffing was, and how disruptive to training would be if you weren't there the second week.

The worst case would be if not being there there the day the specified makes you ineligible for the position. But in that case delaying telling them doesn't help your situation.


Some years ago I applied to a new job when my wife was pregnant. During the interview I told my employer-to-be that I would want to take a three months parental leave later that year. Of course they weren't happy but this way the could plan for my absence early on. Also it clearly demonstrated that I was an open guy and not going to give them nasty surprises.

I got the job. :-)

Keeping it a secret until right after you are hired is not an option and will probably get you fired. Canceling the trip will make you unhappy and might poison the relationship with you employer. So I strongly recommend to be upfront about this.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .