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For the past half a year or so, I've had an entry-level part-time position outside my field of choice. Despite the nature of the position, the lack of benefits, and the menial work, I've more or less enjoyed my time there, and I've always been on good terms with my boss and coworkers.

Recently, I discovered a training program in my desired field that sounded perfect. I applied, with full intention of resigning my current position if I was accepted, but never mentioned it for fear of being rejected from there (for the longest time, they held me at conditionally accepted) and replaced from the job that I had.

Today, I received a confirmation email from the training program saying I'm officially in. The problem is that it has a fixed starting date, conflicts irreconcilably with my current work schedule, and gives me only enough time for a one-week notice rather than the usual two-week notice.

How should I resign from my current position? What should I tell my boss? Should I specifically apologize for the lack of notice? I've always felt very replaceable and I doubt they'd have any trouble at all finding someone else, but I'm on good terms and I'd like to leave on good terms.

  • As you are on good terms, I would call your boss (or go to his desk) and honestly tell him about the situation. Also, do it asap. If your contract specified x-time notice this may be more difficult to discuss. – DarkCygnus Aug 24 '17 at 21:01
  • I don't know if you need to apologize for the lack of notice per se, but it would be a good idea to explain why the notice is as short as it is, at least. – TheSoundDefense Aug 24 '17 at 21:01
  • @GrayCygnus there's no contract or anything. – Hamish Lee Aug 24 '17 at 21:04
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    You were smart not to mention it ahead of time. You don't ever want to get a reputation as dissatisfied, even if that's the case. Those people are the first to go if there are cutbacks or change in leadership. – Chris E Aug 24 '17 at 21:06
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If your supervisor is reasonable, this should be quick and easy as long as you're forthcoming, act quickly, and be honest. In addition, I don't know what you do or your situation, but maybe you can offer to help out with an hour or two of training another person in your current place of employment or an evening of helping out after you are done with your training program. See if you can fit in a little extra time, even if it's from home, to help for the following week or two.


I had this same situation recently. After being a professional overseas, I moved back to the states without employment. While looking casually for a job, I had taken up a position as a grocery store manager just for almost minimum wage and something to do. I really enjoyed it and got along just fine with my supervisor.

When a professional job arose, and they needed me 'right now,' I explained to my supervisor the situation. He happily said, "duh. go." (his words) and thanked me for forthright.

I ended up keeping up a couple weekend and evening shifts just to fill the slots until they had me replaced. It was just four hours here, four hours there and sure my dogs were killing me, but it was the right thing to do.

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I was in this situation recently, the way I approached it was by setting up a 1-1 meeting with boss and just telling him about the offer and reasons for why I am leaving where the notice period is shorter. If your boss is an understanding person (my boss is), he will work with you and not against you.

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We just had an employee have pretty much the same situation happen to them. Any reasonable employer realizes line-level staff, and especially entry-level, are looking for their "next step."

We couldn't be upset, as you can't expect someone to stay in a menial job when they are offered the chance for advancement, especially if you don't have that opportunity available in your organization.

It might be a little annoying to cover your shift, but if they're reasonable, they'll understand the circumstances. If they don't, it's likely there wasn't a good way to part, anyway.

Just tell the truth. You'll likely be surprised. I doubt you're the first who left for a better role. I'm certain you won't be the last. A good manager will not only understand, but will be genuinely happy for you.

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