Appropriate to request start date?

  1. Hello all,

    I have recently been offered a job at a hospital (!). Unfortunately it is only part-time and 8 hour evening shifts, but beggars certainly cannot be choosers. And of course during the first few months I will be orienting full-time.

    Anyhow, they are being very vague with my start date. I was unofficially offered the position by the nurse manager of the unit who said "January or February." From our conversation during an interview, I know that new hires can only start at the beginning of the month (it is like this at many places I believe).

    Well the start of January is going to come rapidly. I have a job right now and I'd like to give them proper notice, and I'm not going to lie: I'd really like to take a vacation! I'm fortunate enough to have the means to do so.

    With all of that being said, is it inappropriate for me to request to start at the beginning of Feb? I tried to find out more info from HR who said "It really could be Jan or Feb," basically depending on references and a getting me scheduled for a physical. Sorry, I know I just wrote a book!
  2. Visit iridium54 profile page

    About iridium54

    Joined: Oct '10; Posts: 130; Likes: 8


  3. by   BiohazardBetty
    It sounds kind of disorganized & un-official at this point... Do you want to work for a place that sets the standard so low to begin with?

    I think it's acceptable to ask to start in February, but keep 3 things in mind:
    1. They're hiring you because they need your help... If they need you in January & you want to wait until February, you're potentially putting them in a staffing shortage situation.
    2. I wouldn't ASK to start in February unless/until they make it clear they want you to start in January- they might view you as a little high maintenance if you start out making "demands"
    3. I wouldn't put in my notice to resign until you are SURE you have a job at this new place. To me, if they can't tell you when you'll start, then they haven't guaranteed you a job.

    Good luck!!
  4. by   iridium54
    Thanks for the advice, helloberry. I know, it is frustrating that it is so vague.

    I feel like I don't have much of a choice. Despite seeming to be disorganized, I don't see how I can turn it down. Though I literally JUST got a call to interview at my dream hospital (!). Why does everything happen at once??

    Anyways, you're right, I don't want to seem 'demanding.' But it does put me in a sticky situation regarding my work/life in general. I don't know...
  5. by   BiohazardBetty
    Maybe they won't ask you to start in January, which will give you time to interview an potentially be offered a job you want more! You ultimately have to do what's best for you & your family.
  6. by   iridium54
    I got a verbal offer over the phone. HR lady did not tell me about benefits, so I emailed her today asking for some info. Have not hard back from her yet. I asked for time until Tomorrow to make a decision. I did interview for that other job and. Contacted them saying I have an offer somewhere else. I know they were planning on doing interviews for another week or so, so I am being pessimistic and figuring I won't get it or be able to get them to make a decision so rapidly.

    Not sure why I am posting this or where I am going with this, but figured I would give an update.

    I am also frustrated because the verbal offer I got is still not giving me a start date, "either jan 7 or feb 4." Honestly at this point I need to tell my job, give the, 2 weeks, etc. So I feel frustrated with it being so vague. I figure if they REALLY needed me they would say Jan for sure. So in that case,I feel it is reasonable to say I cannot stay until Feb now.

    I am appreciative to have these potential opportunities, but it is stressing me out more than exciting me!
  7. by   BiohazardBetty
    I'm glad thing are making a little progress... I would have a very difficult time going into a job with a company that has such a poor pattern of disorganization........:/
    Last edit by BiohazardBetty on Dec 19, '12
  8. by   iridium54
    Quote from helloberry
    I'm glad thing are making a little progress... I would have a very difficult time going into a job with a company that has such a poor pattern of disorganization........:/
    Thank you. And I hear what you are saying but if this other job does not decide in time, which at this point I guess they won't, then I really do not see how I can turn down this job. BUT the disorganization feels like I can at least have the right to say I want to know about the benefits and start in Feb. like I said, if they REALLY needed me I guess they would have insisted on Jan!
  9. by   sbostonRN
    I would bank on Feb at this point. Even if they wanted you to start in January you can always say you didn't have enough time to give your employer two weeks notice since you weren't notified in time. Hopeful that will give the other hospital time to make a decision. Good luck!
  10. by   ssaarraahh
    I tried to do that for my current job because I needed to give my employers two weeks notice, just like you. I got the job offer at the beginning of November and hadn't heard anything since the job offer up until thanksgiving, so I figured I was started in January. The last Friday of November they called me and said I started on Monday. The point is be prepared to start when they tell you to start.
  11. by   iridium54
    Thanks to all for advice. I had to give the employer a decision and I had not heard back from the other one. I decided to check on online status at the other employer and the position now said "filled." It was a but of a huge blow, and I am a little hurt I could not get an email at least...I imagine I'll get a standardized rejection email at some point from HR.

    So, seeing that, I called and verbally accepted the part-time job that was "in my hand" (as my boyfriend kept saying, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"). I also said that I had some thing planned and Feb looks like best option for me and she said that is fine. I was prepared to start in Jan, though, just in case.

    It all has seemingly worked out. The other employer is on my dream list, and I hope to one day work for them still. That door may be closed, but who knows, maybe they will call me another time. Maybe I will fall in love with this job and forget about the other place. All I know is I am thankful for this opportunity, despite some disorganization, and I look forward to starting. And again, thanks to all of you who have helped answer any and all of my questions, whether it was this post or another.
  12. by   joanna73
    Any reputable organization will give you a letter of offer with an official start date in writing. Unless and until you have something in writing, you don't have the job. Don't resign until it's official.