unhappy at my new job
March 22, 2012 4:38 PM   Subscribe

should i leave my current job to go back to my old company?

(sort of a continuation to a past question of mine) In December, I left my job for a new opportunity. It was my first job out of college and I had been there for a year and half. I wasn't unhappy necessarily but I was just ready to go out there and explore new things. I had left on really good terms. Well, 3 months into my new job and I pretty much hate it. I am bored most of the time and don't have the same amount of responsibility/challenges I had at my old job. Even though I get along with most of my coworkers, I feel like I don't really fit into the culture. It's a much bigger company and I think I much prefer the startup feel my last company had (even though it isn't technically a startup anymore). I had remained in contact with many of my old coworkers and am actually really great friends with a few. Somehow, a director at my old company heard through the grapevine that I was unhappy at my new job and reached out to me. They want me to come back for a new team they are forming. Nothing is set in stone yet but I will most likely be in a more senior role and get paid slightly more. So here's my question, what should I do? I've only been in my new job for 3 months, is that too little time to really understand what impact I can make there? Or should I just cut my loses and move back to a company I know I can work well in? Don't get me wrong, my old company had it's faults but I feel like I can look past it and be happy there. If I do leave my current job, do I have to give 2 weeks notice since I've only been there 3 months? I'm pretty much going to be burning bridges either way.

Thanks in advance!
posted by cm1088 to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cut your losses. This is not unusual and won't look bad. Once you have a firm offer, give 2 weeks notice.
posted by jeather at 4:41 PM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

So your choices are working at a place full of people you like and superiors that respect you or a place where you don't fit in and the best aspect is that it might not be terrible one day, maybe. I think you know exactly what you want to do.
posted by griphus at 4:43 PM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Also, give two weeks notice and then quit immediately and take a two week vacation. It doesn't sound like there's anythig mission-critical hanging on you and I doubt you'll be using a 3-month position as a reference.
posted by griphus at 4:45 PM on March 22, 2012

Since you left to pursue other opportunities, and they've asked you back, there's no reason not to go back.
posted by xingcat at 4:45 PM on March 22, 2012

Er, tell the new (old?) place you'll be ready in two weeks when you get a firm offer. Please don't give two weeks notice at your current employer and then just not show up. Three or four days notice will probably be fine, although only you know the culture and can make the best decision.
posted by griphus at 4:47 PM on March 22, 2012

i just don't want to be a total jerk since I completely respect and for the most part like the people I currently work with. It's just that two weeks is a LONG time in this position. heck, I think I could wrap up my job in an hour...
posted by cm1088 at 5:01 PM on March 22, 2012

If you can truly wrap things up in an hour, then give a week's notice once you have a concrete SIGNED offer from the old place. That way you're still giving them a comfortable amount of notice to get geared up to handle your workload while they source a replacement.

As for your old place, it sounds like they value you enough to ask you back so that is a definite plus.
posted by barc0001 at 5:06 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, first off, get a signed offer - everyone likes to talk, but putting things into practice is always more difficult.

And then once you have that, you can give your notice.
posted by mleigh at 6:27 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Get the firm offer first including the date they want you to start and the date they need you to start by, then to your current company present it as that your old company has found they really need you back. Fiddle your leave date and start date whichever way works best for everyone. Your new company could cut you loose right away or insist on two weeks or who knows, anything in-between or even longer. Try to keep it all friendly, and not like you are trying to get a raise at your current position. Because, it is possible, your current company may find they really need you the same way sometime in the future.

posted by caclwmr4 at 6:55 PM on March 22, 2012

Leaving after three months isn't being a jerk if it's clear to you that you're going to be unhappy there...and three months is long enough to know this. Like everyone's said, get the written job offer, give your current employer two weeks of notice, thank everyone there for the opportunity and tell them nicely that you realize you were a much better fit at your old job and leave on the best possible terms you can.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:14 PM on March 22, 2012

Yes, three months is a good time to leave. It's easier for a company to replace a new person than someone who has worked there for a long time. At my company the first 90 days are like a trial period. We'd rather people leave who aren't a good fit.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:41 PM on March 22, 2012

got the signed offer last week and put in one week's notice today. my manager was very supportive and totally understood. thanks for all the advice everyone!
posted by cm1088 at 7:30 PM on April 3, 2012

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