Picture this. You’re only a few days into the job that you thought was a perfect fit and fought your hardest to get, only to be overcome with the feeling that it just isn’t working out.
For many workers, this unfortunate situation is a painful reality. Quitting a job may be an essential part of your development and career progress, but when it comes so soon after being hired, there are a few serious questions to ask. Why did this happen?
Is this quitting the right choice?
What’s the best way to get out?
If you find yourself in this situation, this is the very best way of how to quit a job you just started.
All a Bunch of Quitters?
Finding a job is tough enough, and finding a dream job is more or less still a dream. That might explain why so many of us are thinking about quitting. I mean, obviously not ME! But according to Business Insider, up to 95% of workers are considering quitting their jobs. That’s a huge number and one that’s likely driven by burnout and work-related stresses.
But that’s not all…
A 2019 survey by Jobvite found that 29% of workers have left a new job within 90 days of starting. In fact, 19% of people surveyed had actually signed an offer but then not turned up for a job before.
That’s an awful lot of quitting
The second issue can probably be explained by candidates applying to multiple jobs. They accept what’s offered, at least in writing, but then actually take a better offer elsewhere.
Fine, but why would so many people quit a new job, one they most often have looked hard for, applied for, interviewed for, and been hired for? And in less than three months?
Why Do People Quit New Jobs?
Let’s face it – if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re thinking of leaving a new job, and you probably know the reasons why. At least, I hope you do, and you’re following the right instincts and not what a fortune-teller told you to do.
According to the same Jobvite survey I referred to earlier. Of the 29% of workers who had left a new job, 45% did so because they didn’t get the job they expected. That’s nearly half, so let’s focus on what that means.
I think we can agree that most employers are not out to trick people into working for them. That being said, there are some companies or managers who seem perfectly fine with a bit of “bait and switch.”
If you haven’t heard this term before, think about online product sales. You order the great product you see on your screen. However, when it’s delivered, you’ve got something far inferior to what was promised.
You’re a victim of bait and switch
The same thing can happen with a job. You can be lured into a job that seems like it will be fulfilling and allow you to make good use of your skills and experience, only to end up doing little more than serving coffee to your boss. On the other hand, you might be lured in with certain limits on hours and expectations only to find that overtime is standard and you’re expected to be reachable at all times.
Whatever it is that the job promised, if you don’t get what you were told to expect, you can be left dissatisfied.
But it doesn’t have to be intentional by any means…
Many companies hire too quickly, don’t properly explain positions, or worst of all, don’t have a real plan in place for new employees. Any of these factors can lead to an inaccurate representation of a job. And when the new employee finds out the real deal, disappointment is sure to follow.
If it’s not the tasks and expectations of a job that make a new employee want to leave, it’s probably the people. There’s no avoiding it – pretty much every job in the world requires a level of cooperation with others. Unless you’ve applied to be a hermit (in which case, who’s in charge of HR?), you’ll be working for a supervisor, supervising others, or joining a team.
Interpersonal interaction and how you gel with your coworkers is one of the biggest factors in job satisfaction out there. How happy would you be to work at a job where you get to make great use of your skills, have excellent hours and pay, and everyone you work with hates you?
In most situations, the job candidate is interviewed, at least in part, by the potential supervisor. If they really clash, that candidate won’t get the job, and that’s that. But it’s not so easy with a team or subordinates. These people rarely take part in interviews or have any input on the people they will work closely with. So when the new person comes on board, there can be clashes that make the new recruit want to simply pull the ripcord.
Onboarding is the last of the big three reasons why a person may want to quit a new job. This is a broad process that is about getting that new employee on the train to success in the new job. All aboard!
The problem is that most companies don’t do a great job of onboarding.
A new employee needs an orientation that is detailed and patient. Questions need to be answered. Expectations need to be set. Targets need to be arranged. All of this can be hurried, dumped on a new employee so that he or she feels immediately overwhelmed, or it can be planned and thoughtfully executed.
Guess which is more common?
Risks of Leaving a Job You’ve Just Started
If you have a good reason to leave a brand new job, or at least think you do, you may find that leaving is truly your best choice. But you have to know that you face a lot of risks.
Being black-balled in your industry is one of them. Even if you keep this experience off your resume, companies talk to each other. You could be labeled as a time-waster or worse.
Resentment is another risk. You’ve joined a team and built professional and personal relationships. Pulling the ripcord now could mean your work gets dumped on others’ desks or have other negative consequences. This can make those people want to avoid working with you in the future – and who knows when you might cross paths again?
Financial risk is another risk to consider. Are you prepared to lose the income from this job while you look for another? If you don’t have anything else lined up, you might risk an extended period of time with no income.
Top Tips on How to Quit a Job You Just Started
Once you’re sure the best decision is to leave, despite the risks, there are good ways to do it and very, very bad ones. Here are some top dos and don’ts:
Talk to your supervisor in person and respectfully give your notice, both verbally and in writing. When you give notice, you’re expressing respect for the company, which, after all, probably just put a lot of time and effort into hiring and training you.
Be Ready to Go
Even if you give notice, which normally is two weeks to a month, be prepared to be let go immediately. Most companies don’t want to hold onto people who are ready to go if they can help it. Be financially and emotionally prepared to be asked to go right away.
Don’t Burn Bridges
Keep away from playing the blame game. Focus on expressing why this employment experience is not a good fit, rather than accusing anyone of misrepresenting the job to you (even if you think that’s what was done!). Even if this was a truly horrendous experience, try to rise above that and walk out with your head held high.
Prepare a Parachute
Unless there’s something absolutely intolerable about the job, stay until you have a new, better option. If you’re sure it’s best for you (and the company) to leave, start the job hunt right away. Knowing you have options prepared will reduce the stress the situation will cause you.
Don’t Dwell On It
Once you’ve made your decision to leave, get on with it. Move on with your professional life and chalk this one up to whatever made it a bad match. We’re all constantly evolving and building our professional experience. Accepting why this job didn’t work out and learning from the experience is the best way to grow.
More Helpful Insights
We’ve got a load of advice from resumes to what to do after your interview, so let’s see what we have to offer…
Firstly, if you have yet to find a replacement position, you may well be interested in finding out How Long Does It Take To Find a Job?
And to land it, you’ll need to get your resume up to scratch, so take a look at my guides on How To List References On A Resume, Achievements To List On Your Resume, Hobbies Interests To Put On Resume, Job Titles On Resume, How To List Education On A Resume, Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume, as well as What Achievements To List On Your Resume in 2022.
Also, a well-written cover letter or a letter of interest are also important. So, make sure you know How To Address A Cover Letter, How To Write A Letter Of Interest, How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?, How To Write An Introduction Letter, and also our Motivation Letter Writing Guide.
Or, how about improving your online profile by going through my Best Linkedin Profile Tips or the Best Linkedin Recommendation Examples. And after the interview, why not take a look at How To Ace That Second Interview or What To Do After An Interview.
Get While The Getting’s Good
I hope this helps you figure out the best way to quit a job you just started. Or if you’re an employer who has seen a few new employees jump ship, I hope this helps you think about why that keeps happening.
It’s actually surprisingly common for new workers to leave a job within the first 90 days. Whether it’s because of an inaccurate representation of the job, personality conflicts, or poorly executed onboarding, ultimately, it all comes down to a bad fit.
Finding the right fit for you or your company isn’t easy, so chalk an early departure up to experience and look forward to a better fit in the future.
Best of luck with your career!