I left a well paying part-time ecommerce job to take up a contract coaching job with ambiguous pay structure, at a time when I wasn't thinking straight as I was interested in the field and it felt like a good recognition within the community.

I've since decided, after a year there, that I'm not interested in this job, it's too draining emotionally and I'm spending a lot more time than they're paying me for. It borders on unfair work practices & doesn't guarantee me any work despite asking me to set aside 20 hrs for them - I get paid per job and it's ambiguous when I might get a job.

Question - Is it douchy to leave a contract after just a year?

Question - What reason can I give them to exit the contract as professionally as possible, given that I might be part of the wider community and cross paths in the future. I'm searching for a full time job and want to leave this as soon as that happens.

Question - if they ask for feedback, how do I realistically answer without sharing my issues? I don't want to discuss it with them.

  • 1
    Are you planning to leave before securing another position? In either case, no, it's not douchy to leave/fire your client after just one year. Commented Feb 20 at 10:39
  • No, I'm planning to work through the interview process and finding another job. The pay vs effort is grossly mismatched but it's some income vs nothing. I might give it another month and plan an exit as I'm in the process of finding full-time regular work as an employee. Commented Feb 20 at 12:37
  • Thank you. I'll look through the platform here for some ideas on reasons to give when I let them go. Probably that I got a full time job and an offer that's too good and unfortunately can't manage both Commented Feb 20 at 12:46
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    I think the situation you describe is not uncommon. The root cause seems to be not fully realizing the amount of work involved, at the time both parties got into the relationship. Since it's a prix-fixe situation, you'd be leaning on there being some norms about what's a reasonable amount of work per market price of your labor. (but don't use that word with customers unless you're already in an argument, its sounds lawyer-like). I'd explain the hours spent (or effectively rendered unavailable to you) and you can't afford to continue doing that. You obv have empathy for them, let them know it
    – Pete W
    Commented Feb 21 at 13:48
  • Thank you so much everyone, really appreciate your collective wisdom. Hope this also helps others in a similar conundrum. Commented Feb 22 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


Many - if not most - contracts are for less than a year, so the time-aspect should not bother you at all.

You financially requiring full-time work, which they won't guarantee, seems a perfectly, non-adversarial reason to part ways.

If they ask for feedback, just state the above; you are moving on to a work situation which better fits your medium- and long-term goals.

Since you are concerned about reputational damage, do not engage in any negative feedback - even if they strangely ask for it.

Any feedback should be positive/constructive and only given if they specifically ask for it; e.g. 'what would you do differently' when it comes to a certain work process.

Do NOT give any unsolicited advice, as that can seem unnecessarily arrogant.

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