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Backing Out of Work Commitments

Ask Savvy: I Already Agreed...

This question was submitted by MorningMist in the Ask Savvy group.

Last year I completed a one year internship at a company that then offered me a part time position of which I am currently working in. A couple of months ago my manager asked me verbally whether I would like to work full time for the company next year, while completing my degree part time (I am graduating next year). I replied "yes" without thinking. My current contract ends at the end of this year. Even though nothing has been signed for my position next year, I know that the seniors are assuming I am staying on and have started planning.

For the rest of her dilemma and to offer your take, keep on reading.

I've since changed my mind and no longer want to work for the company. I feel that the role is not in the scope of the direction in which I would like my career to be. I know I am only an undergraduate and any opportunity is a good opportunity, but I feel like I am wasting my time and energy here because I am no longer motivated in the role and am not learning many new things to keep me interested.

How can I go tell them that I've changed my mind? How can I do it without burning too many bridges? I'd like to keep my managers as my references for future job searching but I feel that in taking back my word, I've entered myself into their bad books.

Ask anything career or budget-related — well almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and readers and I will weigh in to support you.

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vabeachbum vabeachbum 6 years
I agree with Anonymous. It's so hard to find work now that I would stick with this job until you have another one lined up. If you have some other source of funding that will allow you to not work and still pay your bills, great, but since you are working while in school I am guessing you don't. Just like Anonymous, I got excellent grades, did all kinds of extracurricular stuff, was a member of several honor societies/programs AND got a graduate degree (an MA) and STILL can't find work in my field. I left school thinking it would be a month or two at most until I got work. I have a job that pays the bills, but it's not a great one.... and it took me 3 months to find and get it. So, I say stick with it until you for sure have something else.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I would find another opportunity before you back out of this one. Then, when you get that job lined up, explain to them why the other job is a better fit (it can be as simple as "it pays more and is closer to home") rather than focusing on what's wrong with their company.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
You haven't signed anything, so it's not that big a deal. You just need to sit them down and tell them as soon as you can, so that they aren't left in a lurch. and just explain what you explained to us - that you learned a lot, it's been great, but you think it's time to go in a different direction in order to build your career. They have to understand that. And since it was just a verbal committment, it's not a huge thing. and during the conversation, just say "I would love to use you as a reference, so I hope that is still okay"...
L7amiguita L7amiguita 6 years
I agree with the 2 previous comments. Finding a job in this economy is extremely difficult right now. Your qualifications and experience do not guarantee that you'll even be able to land a job immediately. Unless you've already been offered another job, I'd stay with this current one. A job is what you make it and I'm sure there is room for you to reach out for more responsibilities if that's what you really want.
motherdear motherdear 6 years
This is a lesson in "engage brain before speaking" You should tell your employers how you feel, after all, I don't suppose they'll want someone who isn't motivated. I'm sure they'll understand -- you're very young, after all. Also, start looking for something else NOW. Good Luck!
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