I worked part time at an accounting firm for a really cheap rate to gain some experience during uni and while I'm in my final year I've decided to take a breather to focus on my studies. My boss loves me and wants me to stay on board after I graduate but I'm afraid it would be on really low terms. How can I tactfully turn him down and still get a good reference letter which should be helpful with my job search later down the track?
Mark Enticott - Career Doctor
Posted Thursday 3rd October 2013 11:37:00 PM
Obtaining some work experience at University that is related to the degree you are doing will be very beneficial for you especially when you are applying for those roles when you graduate. When you start your career, I believe joining the right business that is going to provide excellent training and development is very important to ensure you get the core foundations. While money is a factor in any decision, it is important that you focus on the opportunity that is right for you and will help to establish your future career. When you are about to graduate, this presents an excellent opportunity for you to explore a range of different roles and businesses that you might want to work for. Applying to these firms and interviewing with them will allow you to assess which firm is best suited to what you are looking for. Given your boss is also keen for you to join after graduating, I suggest that you have a meeting with him/her to discuss the role, training, future progression and salary (discussion of salary at the appropriate time is very important). After exploring all potential opportunities it will allow you to assess your options against the business that you have been working for while at University. If after you have gone through this process you decide to take on a new opportunity, then the way you communicate this to your current boss is very important. Open and transparent communication that outlines the reasons why you believe the new opportunity is right for your career, is the best approach. I would also recommend that you thank your boss for all the support and experience the business has provided you and ensure that you remain very professional and appreciative for the opportunity to work with the business. The above approach will ensure you finish on good terms and will in most cases position you well to receive a reference that reflects your work and performance.