I need a new job
September 16, 2008 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I walked away from my job a few days ago because it was driving me crazy. How should I mention this on my resume?

I used to sell insurance over the phone. I did this for about six months until I realized I can no longer tolerate dealing with the general public on such a large scale. I have not completely given up on becoming a salesperson, but I don't care to sell that product to those people anymore. Maybe those of you who have worked in a call center would understand. Anyway, I pretty much just stopped going to work and I'm pretty sure they terminated me. Strangely enough, I was invited to a job fair/casual drinking party at a club the night after I quit. I met some people who seemed to be interested in me and my credentials. So how do I explain my work history with my last company since I really didn't leave on good terms? Should I mention them at all? My last employer was the Navy but that was exactly a year ago and I doubt anybody is there from when I was there so no real references. I really feel like I can get some decent jobs if I just knew how to tailor my resume's history. Any suggestions?
posted by Brandon1600 to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If possible, start working with a temp agency ASAP, and then you can say you left your job to explore other opportunities through temping.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:50 PM on September 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

It depends on the job you're applying for. If it's similar to the one you left, then you'll have to find a way to gloss over it ("I left so I could explore other options" is pretty standard here, but such a standard line that most people will realize you're glossing over something and wonder what).

If it's not a particularly similar job (i.e. not in a call center or primarily customer service based), I doubt most employers would hold it against you if you simply said you were sick of selling insurance over the phone and decided you needed to do something different. I mean, that's pretty understandable. Provided that otherwise your work history is good, I wouldn't be too concerned.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:59 PM on September 16, 2008

Say you weren't suited for the job and you quit. Six months is giving it the old college try.

Now, if you're interviewing for another phone sales and/or insurance job, this might not go over so well...
posted by Artful Codger at 2:04 PM on September 16, 2008

You can say that since you left the Navy, you've been doing different short-term jobs as you thought about what was the right fit for you.

Nobody expects anyone to keep any given call-center job more than six months.

That said, quitting by not showing up is a spectacular dick move. Write or email them and tell them you've quit, even if they've already fired you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:25 PM on September 16, 2008

If possible, start working with a temp agency ASAP, and then you can say you left your job to explore other opportunities through temping.

Yes. This is what I did when I was "given the opportunity to resign" from an employer. I never had any follow-up questions about it. "I realized it was time to move on" was an acceptable answer to everyone I interviewed with. If pressed further, I indicated that I wasn't able to secure as many hours in the schedule as I needed and temping provided better opportunities.

That said, quitting by not showing up is a spectacular dick move.

This is also true. When I was working in Corporate Café, we had that happen several times and each time it was horror. For the first week or so, the citizen in question would still be on the schedule, so no one would be put in their place until it was clear that they weren't coming back, so there was this limbo period wherein we would always be one person short. Just call and say "Yeah, I'm done" so that your former coworkers don't get any unnecessary fallout from this.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2008

Another option (which may be far-fetched but anyway) if it's really only been a few days would be to go back, apologize for being sick..."what, didn't you get my e-mails?"...suck it up for another week or two then give a weeks notice saying you've enjoyed working there but want to pursue other opportunities. Those 2-3 weeks would also give you some time to pursue those opportunities while still getting a paycheck. If you were terminated, it's probably reversible if you can play it as a misunderstanding.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2008

I guess I can understand the "dick move" opinion so i am going to call tomorrow and formally quit. I thought about going back and just saying I am sorry but I just cant do that job anymore. The customers are so damned frustrating. I am literally in full facepalm mode all day every day. Its just not right for me. Should I just go ahead and keep them on my work history and hand out my resume like that?
posted by Brandon1600 at 6:25 PM on September 16, 2008

"Work Experience:
Company XXX : March 2008 - September 2008"

I think it depends on the nature of the company and where you are, but phone sales jobs have high turnover and they might not care if they're of any decent size. If called for areference they'll probably just confirm that you did, in fact, work there from date A to B.

When I was younger I walked away from a job much the same way (no notice just stopped showing up. Yes, it's a jerk thing to do, but enough is enough sometimes. Left my favorite mug there too.) Six months later I got a call from them asking if I wanted to come back and work.

So you never know.

If you're curious about what kind of reference you'll get, have a friend call 'em up as a fake potential employer and see what they say. Or do it yourself.

If you just want to pretend it never happened, then drop it, list the Navy as your last employer and that you've spent the intervening year exploring the possibilities of non-Navy life. Sure they may not remember you personally, but they sure as hell have a file on you that they can give a reference from.
posted by Ookseer at 6:26 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you think it helps you with the job you're applying for then list it. Otherwise leave it off. A six month gap isn't very long.
posted by meta_eli at 9:10 PM on September 16, 2008

Seconding the 'friend calling them up as a fake potential employer' - and bonus points if they say anything bad / libelous...

Knowing what your next step is determines your course of action. A job of 6 months? With other jobs on the resume, 6 months may just be a hiccup in which you tried something completely different that happened to pay a few bills.
posted by chrisinseoul at 8:53 AM on September 17, 2008

« Older At least they can shower and use AC   |   Does shirt swapping happen in any sport apart from... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.