Quitting A Job After 3 Months? Here's What You Should Know

Are you wanting to quit your job after only three months of employment? If so, it happens. But here’s what you should know about how it’ll impact your relationship with your current employer and potentially your future employers.

Before you quit, assess your situation

The first thing you need to do before you consider quitting your job after only three months is to understand whether or not you are quitting because of something that can be fixed. Can the situation be fixed if you speak with your manager? Knowing when to change jobs for good reason, comes with experience. If you can, you should give speaking to your HR department or manager about the situation a chance, first. Finding new employment will always be harder than trying to work with your existing employer. And they are much more inclined to want to work with you, as well.

That being said, before you do that, try to examine your work with the company in an objective way. Do you think your employer is happy with your work? There’s potential that if you are feeling like quitting after such a short period of time, that you both might not be feeling the chemistry. If that’s the case, it’s sometimes easier to cut the cord quickly.

If your employer appreciates your work, you have an advantage

Quitting after three months when you feel as though your employer is happy with your work, actually makes the process of quitting after such a short period of time more difficult. That’s because they are going to feel more disappointment in having to replace you. And your managers are going to feel as though they potentially did something incorrectly. This is something that should be taken into consideration and communicated when you decide you want to quit your job so soon.

If your employer isn’t happy with your work, you don't have an advantage

When your employer isn’t happy with your work or you simply feel like there’s too much friction in the process of getting work done, then it might be easier to quit than you think. Most likely, your employer will be feeling the same pains that you are and will understand it simply, “Didn’t work out.” Employers understand this and even have a term for it, churn. Churn is when a certain percentage of employees are nearly consistently leaving and a new set of employees are replacing them.

How will this impact your career path

For the most part, leaving a job so soon won’t effect your future. But it won’t be something you’ll be able to put on the resume. For future employers, it might indicate that you are difficult to work with or potentially disloyal. The advice would be to leave this piece of employment off your record. You can simply skip it when it comes to your resume. If you decide not to leave it off, you will have to be sure that you clearly, calmly and unemotionally are able to communicate to future employers why you left your previous job so quickly.

Some of those reasons can be as simple as:

  • I wasn’t happy in that role.
  • I decided it was time for me to make a job function change and there wasn’t an opportunity within the company.
  • It simply didn’t work out, both myself and the senior leadership team left on amicable terms.

Leaving after 3 months is becoming more common

In active job markets, such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, the rate of which employees are changing jobs or companies they are employed by, is accelerating. This is because there is a flourishing opportunity to work for technology startups and more job opportunities are available. Because of this change in the market over the past 5-years, it is not uncommon for someone to leave a job after only three months because they found a better opportunity elsewhere.

Pro tip: TalentNow reports that 40% of employees surveyed in 2018 mentioned that they plan on changing jobs in the next year. This means more employers are seeking employees who may be a more stable and long-term hire.

You’ll need to break the news to your employer

However you navigate the conversation of leaving to your existing employer, it’s important that you keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Make sure that if the situation is that you both feel unhappy with the performance in the position, that you don’t make the focus on that. Simply state to your manager that you don’t feel it’s working out and you’d like to make a change.

In most circumstances if you incorrectly estimated your employer's happiness of working with you, they’ll bring it up correctly in that conversation. And it’s not uncommon for them to offer you higher compensation in order to stay if that’s the reason for your leaving.

In the most ideal world, you should stay with a company for at least one year, two years to more ideal. The reason for this is that it communicates to future employers that you are easy to work with, you are committed to the companies that you say you want to be employed by and you aren’t deterred by challenges. It is also the correct amount of time required in order for you to truly make an impact or significant contribution to an established organization, which you’ll be able to present and share to others.

For those who are trying to leave their first job ever only after three months, the advice would be not to. Try to “stick it out” for at least 6-months or 12-months so that you can have some type of work experience to be able to bring to other opportunities.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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