Quitting a Job You Just Started

It’s best to resign in person

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/) reports that the average employment term is 4.2 years but there are times when a person quits a new job shortly after starting or accepting it. In my experience as a career coach it’s been fairly rare, but it does occur. While not ideal, it might be warranted and should be handled delicately. Sometimes, shortly after starting a new job the person receives a much better financial offer or an opportunity to do the work they have always dreamed of. Other times they found the job to be significantly different than the job description and/or what they were told when interviewing. Certainly not a good thing for an employer to do but it does happen occasionally. It is not uncommon that a new hire learns her boss is a raging jerk when under pressure or the department she’s in is dysfunctional and no fun to work in. Other times the corporate culture isn’t a good match.

Whatever the reason, handle your departure with tact. It is never wise to burn bridges; you never know where the manager you’re leaving will show up in another organization or industry segment you want to be in. Additionally, leaving you co-workers in the lurch as they have to assume the work you were supposed to perform won’t win many friends. You definitely do not want to be known as a disloyal or unstable person in your field due to gossip and negative “grapevine” comments.

The best way to handle your resignation is face to face with your manager. Not a fun thing to do but a necessary step as a professional. Keep it positive and short “Mary, I appreciate you hiring me. This was a tough decision, one that I devoted a great deal of time to making and I feel it’s the right decision for me and my family”. Give at least two weeks’ notice and don’t tell anyone else until you have spoken with your boss; he may want to make the announcement. If you have flexibility with the start date of your new job, you could offer to stay a little longer if they really need your help, but be aware that once you notify them, some companies will require you to depart immediately. I don’t like this practice but it’s not uncommon. Lastly, put the resignation in writing and bring a hard copy with you to the meeting with your boss; you can email another one when you get done with the meeting.

View this event as a learning experience and move on.

Frank Manfre www.frankmanfre.com/career-coaching

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