How to Quit a Job You Just Started

Woman leaving office

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Sometimes, even when you do everything right, a new job isn't what you had expected it would be. It can happen - even when you've carefully researched the organization, weighed the pros and cons of the job offer, and thought you had made a good decision. 

Jobs don't always turn out like you would have hoped or as you would have expected.

There simply may not be a good fit between the new employee and the job or company, even though both theyand the organization thought it would work out.

You may be feeling like you want to quit already, even though you have just started. You don't have to stay, but you should do your best to leave on a positive note.

Carefully Decide Whether to Resign

If you are thinking about quitting a job you have just started, be sure to think about it again and consider these reasons for not quitting right away, before making your final decision. Be absolutely sure that you want to quit before you mention it. 

Since your employer has probably spent considerable time recruiting and orienting you, your supervisor will most likely not be thrilled to hear about your resignation.

However, you need to do what's best for you, and leaving may be the only option. It can also be better for the organization for you to quit, so that it doesn't invest any more resources in onboarding and training you. That way, both you and your employer can start over.

The Best Way to Quit a Job You Just Started

If your resignation is inevitable you should do your best to resign in a tactful manner, so as not to burn any bridges unnecessarily. Review these tips for quitting a new job as gracefully as possible.

© The Balance, 2018

Give Appropriate Notice

Whenever possible, give your employer a considerable amount of notice regarding your intended departure. Consult the employee handbook for your organization to identify the minimum notice required, which is usually two weeks, depending on the type of job. However, offer the maximum amount of notice if you can manage it. If you could otherwise avoid it, it's not acceptable to give less notice just because you have less tenure with the organization.

Most employers will not want to keep you around for an excessive amount of time following your resignation but will appreciate the gesture of good faith. If you have an employment contract, the amount of notice required may be listed there. 

How to Resign

Once you've decided to resign, arrange to meet facetoface with your supervisor so you can discuss your resignation in person. Be prepared to explain why you're leaving. If possible, share reasons that center on elements of the job that don't fit your skills or interests. You should avoid any disparaging remarks about your recruiter or any other staff. 

Bring a written letter of resignation with you that references your expected last day of work. Your letter should be brief, polite, and professional.

Avoid making any negative comments that might come back to haunt you, especially if they are delivered in writing. 

If you have been around long enough to learn some valuable information, offer to help train your successor. Again, your employer will probably decline but may appreciate your inclination to help. 

Consider Options for Staying

Can you work something out? If you can imagine a way that your position could be modified to fit your preferences, then you might consider inquiring about this. Your supervisor may even suggest some possible accommodations. Some employers might even consider you for a different job vacancy at the company if you are open to that discussion. 

Is it worth staying for a while? In some cases - particularly if you have had trouble landing a job or keeping a job - it may be a good idea to ride out your initial reaction to leave a new job. If it's your first job, it might also be worth figuring out how long you can stay. After an adjustment period of two-to-three months, you might find that the job is more appealing than you had first anticipated. If there are other reasons you'd like to stay, like the people or the perks, it might be worth giving the job more of a chance.

Can you find a new job quickly? Another option is to start job hunting immediately, while you're still employed. You may be able to line up a new position quickly, then turn in your resignation. Be prepared to answer interview questions about why you're leaving the job when you start interviewing, but don't stress too much. Hiring managers understand that sometimes jobs aren't a good fit.

What to Say When You Quit

Review these examples of the best ways to move on when you're quitting a job you haven't been at for long:

Try Not to Let it Bother You

Regardless of whether you stay or go, don't feel bad about it. Sometimes, the job you end up with isn't what you expected it to be. The company could have sold you on how great a place to work it is, and it may not be after all. It happens, and the best thing to do is to chalk it up to experience and move on.