How to leave your summer job

As the summer holidays come to an end (cry), you might be starting to think about your summer job and, more specifically, how to leave.

Don’t fret, because we’re bringing you our top tips on how to hand in your notice the right way.

You might have joined your summer job knowing it was exactly that – a summer job – but for your employer, unless you’ve been upfront with them from the start, they might be starting to think of you as part of the furniture.

This can make it pretty awkward when it comes to handing in your notice. No one likes doing it, but it’s got to be done, in a respectful and professional way.

You waving goodbye to your summer job


When you leave your summer job, you have to give notice. That means you let your employer know in advance that you’re going to be leaving – don’t just turn up on your last day and tell them you’re quitting. This leaves a bad impression and might mean you lose them as a reference, leaving a gap on your CV for the whole summer.

If you have a contract, go back and read it. It probably tells you how much notice you have to give.

Standard practice is to give two weeks notice, to allow your boss to find someone to replace you, but you might have to give more, depending on the company policy.

All you have to do is tell them how much you’ve enjoyed and valued your time with the company, but your studies take priority and unfortunately the time has come to leave as you head back to college or university. Make sure to tell them you’d love to continue working with them in the future, during breaks from studies.

Your colleagues, waving goodbye to you, wondering how they’ll manage without you


You might have had the best summer of your life working at this job. Maybe it’s been a way of making money and nothing more. Or, maybe it’s been a total nightmare and you can’t wait to get out of there.

No matter your experience, you still have to give your notice in a respectful way. For you, this has been a job to tide you over for a few months; for others, it’s their career. Don’t do anything that could do you out of a reference.

You never know: you might be in the position where you have to return to them for work next summer, so keep that in mind when handing in your notice.


It’s easier said than done. It’s completely normal to feel nervous before leaving a job. Maybe you get on really well with your boss and are worried about letting them down, or having led them on about how long you’ll be working there. Or, maybe you don’t have a good relationship with your boss and are worried about how they’ll react.

All you need to remember is that worst case, you only have a few weeks left there. And, if you have your university education on your CV, chances are your boss was expecting it, anyway.


Maybe, as term time draws near, you’re starting to think that you don’t want to hand in your notice after all, and would like to keep working alongside your studies. This is a great way to make some extra cash, and there are ways and means to do so.

If you’ve been working in your uni city through the summer, it’s easy – you just need to ask if you can reduce your hours. Most places would rather you went down to part-time than left completely, so they’re sure to be accommodating.

If you’ve moved home through the summer and are about to make the journey back to university, this doesn’t mean you have to quit. If you work for a chain, the chances are you can apply for a transfer and start working in a branch in your uni city instead.

It might take some time to sort this out and find a branch that needs you, so it’s best to ask about this option early, to avoid disappointment.

So, you see, handing in your notice doesn’t have to be the stress-inducing nightmare it’s made up to be. As long as you’re respectful and emphasise how much you’ve appreciated your time with the company, it’s bound to go well.

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