How Soon Is Too Soon to Quit a Job?

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Let’s say once you start a new job, but you recognise its not a good fit, so how soon are you willing to leave? And what is the protocol around seeking a new opportunity?

Here we have collected some ideas to help you think through whether an early departure after starting a new job is wise and warranted, or should be avoided.

How Soon Is Too Soon to Quit a Job?

Well, there is never a no “too soon” to quit a job if you feel you’re working in a dangerous or unethical situation. It’s important that you can absolutely leave an emotionally or physically dangerous job, or one that crosses ethical boundaries, rather than trying to stick it out.

What to Consider Before You Quit

Consider how the following items might impact your present situation and your future job prospects.

How Long You Stay Could Matter

Staying in a role for a short period of time could be a red flag to potential employers, especially if it happens more than once. You’ll likely need to explain yourself in the next few job interviews.

When deciding if you should quit a job after starting, it’s also wise to consider how long it may take to find a new role. At the current situation, its not easy to find a new job. According to some feedbacks from users, some of them took less than 4 weeks to find a new job, but some might take more than 3 months.

It’s Not That Unusual

Some statistics show that looking for a new job shortly after starting is now the norm. Harvard Business Review reported that around one-third (33%) of new hires start investigating new employment options within their first six months on the job.

While it’s not necessarily a great idea to jump ship in your first six months of employment just because many other workers do this, the fact that this type of job hopping does happen means that some employers won’t dock you for it—especially if you have a strong track record or a rare combination of skills.

Work History Helps

If your resume shows a solid work history with longer tenures up until your early departure, it may be easier to explain the aberration. Depending on how long you’ve been in the job market, having at least a position or two that you’ve stayed in for a year or more can help show your overall tendency toward loyalty or longevity,

If, however, your resume reveals a pattern of short-term hops that don’t have explanations, some employers may view this as a red flag, believing that it reflects poorly on your career stability, commitment, and work ethic.

Money Matters

If you quit your job, you likely won’t receive unemployment compensation. Take a serious look at your finances and think about how long you can go without a paycheck. And don’t forget to add in covering your own health insurance, among other expenses.

How long can you go between jobs? There’s no guarantee you’ll find the next opportunity quickly. Can you freelance in between roles? Are you willing to take on a part-time job until you find a full-time one?

Being Employed Improves Your Odds

There aren’t a lot of ways around it. Study after study shows that it’s easier to find a new job when you’re already employed. Will leaving the current job impact your prospects of getting the next one? Would it make more sense to stick around until you’ve secured a new role?

Consider that staying in an imperfect role right now could help improve your chances of getting that better perfect job down the road.

It’s Easier to Restart Your Job Search

Something else to consider is that if you do resign from a job soon after starting, you have the added benefit of still being in “job search mode.” Your application materials are still up to date, and you can jump right back into your job search.

Finish Strong

If you decide that sticking around is the better option, make sure you’re doing as good of a job as possible. Even if you know you won’t be there long, it’s better for your professional reputation to do the job as well as you can.

But, if you make the decision to leave, you may be able to strategically spin the experience into one that looks better in the eyes of future employers. Instead of pulling the plug prematurely with little to show for your time at the company, consider identifying an initiative or project you can complete as a record of a professional accomplishment before you go.

If you can quantify key highlights it can help showcase your ability to add value, even in a short time frame.

When It’s Time to Go

As you keep these pointers in mind, be aware that in some situations, you may simply need to leave sooner than expected for your own peace of mind. If you do need to extricate yourself from a job on the early side, be sure to do so as gracefully as possible. This can help you preserve your professional relationships and reputation over the long haul, which could help you find other roles in the future. You never know who you’ll cross paths with down the road! 


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