How to Quit a Job That You Just Started

Woman leaving office
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Are you thinking about quitting your new job? If you do decide to resign, you’ll be in good company. According to a Jobvite survey, nearly 30% of workers said that they had left a job within 90 days of starting.

Sometimes, a new job doesn’t turn out as you expected. It can happen, even when you do everything right—research the organization, weigh the pros and cons of the job offer, and make your decision carefully before accepting. Perhaps the employer was misleading about what the job would entail. Maybe it’s simply a bad fit between you and the job or company.

If you feel like you want to quit already, you have options. 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, consider that there may be reasons for not quitting right away. 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.

Consider Options for Staying

You may find that you don’t have to quit your job in order to remedy the problem. Consider:

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 a few 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.

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.

How to quit a job you just started
The Balance

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. 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.

Be prepared to leave the day you give notice, even if you have offered to work for an additional two weeks. Some employers will make the day you quit your last day of work. 

How to Resign From a New Job

Once you've decided to resign, arrange to meet face-to-face 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.

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, you take a job that isn't what you expected it to be. The employer may have sold you on the idea that the company is a great place to work, 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.