Here's How to Quit a Job You Just Started (Resignation)
How to quit a job you just started. Have you lately begun a job that didn't turn out to be what you expected? Or perhaps you were sitting at your desk at the end of your first day, thinking to yourself, "I've made a terrible mistake."
Even if you've done everything correctly, our positions may not turn out to be as brilliant and dazzling as they were during the interview.
Perhaps your new boss is a jerk, your coworkers are slackers who delegate all of the heavy lifting to you, or you've even received a better job offer from another company.
There's good news if your brain is continuously screaming "I detest my job" while you're at work: you don't have to remain.
Even if you're eager to go as soon as possible, you should make every effort to leave your work professionally and without burning any bridges.
How soon is it?
Depending on how soon you started, it's important to consider the consequences and the best course of action for both you and the employer.
While it's always best to provide a two-week notice of any resignation, in some circumstances, you're so new to the company that they could decide to skip the notice period.
You started 3 days ago
If you started 3 days ago, your new company will most likely not ask for a notice period. Ask to meet face-to-face with your manager. And express that this isn't working out as expected. Then, follow the steps listed below.
You started 1 month ago
Make sure that you have future employment in place before quitting. Or, start your job search before leaving. A job you started one month ago can still take time to transition into.
Is it your mental health, co-workers, or office environment that's affecting you? Consider speaking with your manager before looking for a new job.
Hiring managers understand that new jobs sometimes don't work out.
Quitting without notice
If you want to leave immediately, you can skip the professional letter of resignation and resign without notice. Resigning without notice can certainly hurt someone's professional career.
Consider what a "no notice" resignation could do to your career before making this hasty decision.
If you feel it's the right move, submit an immediate resignation letter.
Pro tip: Use COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) to extend your health insurance coverage when you decide to resign.
Go through a checklist before you quit a job you just started
Your first few weeks at a job should be an exciting moment in your career, with a new supervisor, coworkers, and office culture. Regrettably, this isn't always the case. “I hate my new job!” screams a voice inside your brain after two weeks. And it's at that point that you'll need to figure out how to resign a job you've only recently started—even if the ink on your contract is still drying.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job duration for most workers is 4.2 years, although there are plenty of rational reasons to leave sooner. Perhaps you were the victim of a bait-and-switch strategy, in which you were hired for one position but were later allocated to a completely other function, or you're reporting to a toxic boss.
If you've received a better job offer from another employer, you may want to consider resigning your new work, even if everything is going well.
Making a hasty escape, regardless of why you're halfway out the door, can have serious consequences.
You don't want to damage any bridges, yet resigning too soon might have serious consequences:
- Being placed on a blacklist. In the future, the firm and management may refuse to work with you.
- Endangering your professional reputation. If you're in a specialist business, word gets around quickly. If this happens, prospective hiring supervisors may see you unfavorably as a job hopper, making your next job hunt more difficult.
- Getting on the nerves of your coworkers. Exiting suddenly may compel your coworkers to pick up the job you've left behind, maybe causing animosity among those you'll meet again in the future.
- Are you making financial sacrifices? If you willingly quit your work, your unemployment insurance eligibility (if it hasn't already kicked in) may be jeopardized. You may also have to forgo a sign-on incentive or reimbursement for relocation fees if you leave within the first six months to a year.
If you think your job could turn out to be better than you thought, or if you're just not sure you want to take the risk of quitting, you should think about remaining.
Perhaps you could talk to your boss about changing your work to better meet your requirements and experience, or perhaps there's another job opening within the firm that would be a better fit for you.
Even if you despise your work so much that you cry in the vehicle on the phone to your mother during the day, it could be worth sticking a while if you've had difficulties finding or retaining a job. You may discover that you enjoy your job far more than you anticipated once you've settled in.
Begin looking for a new job
When you already have a job, it's much easier to seek for another. If this new job isn't a good fit for you but you can tough it out for a time, keep working until you find something else (particularly if it's financially essential).
Prepare yourself for queries about why you're quitting your work, but don't be concerned. Recruiters and hiring managers are well aware that some positions are not a good match for them. What matters is that you use positive words to explain why it isn't working.
Don't complain about how awful things are; instead, explain how your talents, credentials, and hobbies aren't a good fit for your current position, and how the new one would be much better.
If you get a new job, submit your resignation letter.
Provide plenty of notice
When it comes to quitting a job, the golden rule is to give your boss at least two weeks' notice.
If you were handed an employee handbook when you first started your employment, there may be guidelines for how much time you should give the firm before saying goodbye for good.
Before saying your goodbyes, try to notify your employer as long ahead of time as feasible.
If you have adequate time before leaving or starting your new work, you might volunteer to remain an extra week or two and assist in the recruitment of a successor.
Your boss may thank you for your thoughtful gesture, or they may instruct you to go right away — but it's still better to be as considerate as possible and offer your assistance.
Resign in-person or by Zoom
Once you've made the choice to leave, it's time to meet with your supervisor face to face and inform them of your decision. Even though quitting in person is unpleasant and awkward, it demonstrates professionalism and allows you to control how you will be seen.
Prepare an explanation for why you're leaving.
It's advisable to refrain from expressing comments like "This work stinks man" or "I believe you're cruel and smell terrible." Instead, focus on parts of the work that did not align with your talents or interests. Don't say anything hurtful, at the very least.
Thank them for the chance, indicate your desire to assist with the transition, and propose a last day of work. Having a thorough strategy in place for your final weeks of work demonstrates that you are thoughtful and have not taken this choice carelessly.
Be prepared for your employer to respond negatively and recommend that you depart even sooner.
Example of what to say:
"John, I know I've only been with the company for a few months. And, I realize that this may cause issues with the team. Though, this job has been nerve-racking for me. I just don't think it's the right fit. I've decided that it's best if I move on. I don't want to mentally check out. I want to provide at least two weeks with the company and ensure the team is heading in the right direction. I'm truly sorry, this is the only option that I see working for me. I hope you can understand."
You can mention reasons why you want to leave. Though, it's not entirely necessary if you just joined the company.
Write your resignation letter
Even if you're planning to meet with your boss face to face to give the terrible news, you should nonetheless submit your resignation in writing.
Your resignation letter should be succinct, courteous, and professional, and include the date you plan to leave the organization.
Again, don't make any snarky remarks that may come back to bother you later - this would be especially terrible because the statements would be written down.
The following is an example of a professional resignation letter:
Resignation Letter Sample
Dear Ms. Sands,
I'm writing to let you know that I'm leaving my job as a Software Engineer at Groupon. The first day of August 2021 will be my final day of work.
I appreciate the opportunity that Groupon has provided me, however I just accepted a position with another firm that is more suited to my career path. This opportunity will allow me to advance professionally in my chosen sector.
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your patience and compassion at this time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with this change; I'd like to make it as easy as possible for your organization.
I regret not being able to continue on the work; nevertheless, I value the possibilities that have been offered to me, and I hope to keep in touch in the future.
Give it your best
You still need to put in the effort throughout your final days on the job once you've gotten through the awkward filthy labor of really quitting your job.
Don't let the last two weeks of your life pass you by.
You should still give it your all in this scenario; it will only enhance your reputation, and your supervisor will appreciate the fact that you didn't merely sleep at your desk the entire time.
Demonstrate that, even if the work isn't ideal, you're still a professional who will carry out the tasks you promised to for the time period specified in your resignation letter.
It may be an awkward position, but you still have an opportunity to retain a great connection with your coworkers/supervisors, which might come in helpful if you ever need a reference from them.
Even if a reference seems unlikely in this case, you'll have a few more people in your network who don't think you're an unprofessional jerk.
What quitting could do to your career
Quitting so soon could leave your new position in shambles. And make it difficult to leave or resign on a positive note. It's a sticky situation to navigate.
Consider the following:
- Will you cross paths with the manager again? It's best not to burn bridges. Though, in this circumstance, you might have to. Leaving a job quickly can cause hiring managers to lose trust in your work.
- Do you need to leave for a valid reason? If there's a family emergency or another personal issue, this is a reason that most employers will understand.
- Don't expect an exit interview. When you provide the bad news to the company, it's likely that you won't get an exit interview. And won't be able to provide any feedback to the company.
- Choose a different direction. Can you ask the company for time off? This will ensure you don't burn bridges unnecessarily. If after your time off, you still feel like you feel confident it's best to pursue other career options, make the move.
- Take a few days PTO. Paid time off can certainly help. Give yourself space to evaluate your decision before you choose to leave. As a new employee, taking sick leave can certainly make a negative impact on your first few weeks. Though, far better than leaving the company.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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