Nicole Brown, Marketing Intern Coordinator
Student jobs, by nature, are temporary. High school students graduate and move away to start college or a career. College students may work full time over the summer, but return to school when August comes. Employers expect things to change and student employees to leave, but the process of ending a job is never easy. Whether you need to quit a job completely, or just reduce your hours for the semester, use the following guidelines to make the experience a positive one.
Communicate Honestly and Early
Be honest about the type of job you’re looking for from the beginning. If you’re searching for temporary work, then say so. Being honest about your expectations is the only way that an employer can really understand your employment needs.
And the communication shouldn’t stop once you’re hired. Whether it’s the middle of summer or the beginning of the school year, keep your employer informed. Are you starting to get stressed out by the number of hours you are working? Let your employer know. Chances are, they’d be happy to reduce your hours and give some of your shifts to other people. They’d much rather work with you than risk having you not show or quit because you can’t handle the work load.
The other important aspect to honest communication is timing. As soon as you know when you want your last day to be or that you’ll need your hours reduced, let your employer know. Then, they can prepare for you leaving by hiring more employees or figuring out who might want to take over your shifts. The general rule of thumb for leaving is to give at least two weeks notice. The same rule applies to reducing your hours: the sooner you inform your boss, the sooner they can start the process of accommodating your request.
Transition on a Positive Note
If you are continuing a summer job through the school year, make sure to keep up with your responsibilities. Your life may become busier, but your employer still expects you to be on time for your shifts and work hard.
If you are leaving a job completely, once your last day rolls around, it can be tempting to behave inappropriately. If you’re not planning on returning to the job, you may be more tempted to yell at that rude customer, but don’t give in. Working just as hard on your last shift as you did on your first will leave your employer with a positive impression. This can make your employer a good job reference for the future. In other words, don’t burn any bridges!
Another reason not to burn bridges is the possibility of returning. If your employer values your work, they would likely love to have you return. Maybe you can work over school breaks or next summer. Either way, leaving your return as a distinct possibility means that you’ll likely be able to pop in and work whenever you can, as long as you give them some notice.
Use these basic guidelines to make any job-leaving or hour-reducing experience a positive one. Then you can use your managers as references and include the job on your resume, plus always have the potential of working there again in the future.